What You Need to Know About 2021 AP Exams

The exam schedule has changed. Each subject now has three testing dates, one in each of the following testing windows:

Administration 1
May 3–7, 10–12, 14, 17
In School
Administration 2
May 18–21, 24–28
In School and At Home
Administration 3
June 1–4, 7–11
In School and At Home


  • Schools make all decisions about which exams are offered. Students won’t be able to choose exam dates on their own. Beginning in early March, AP coordinators will be able to assign students to Administration 2 and/or 3 exams, if needed.
  • Paper and pencil AP Exams will still be given. In Administration 1, traditional paper and pencil AP Exams and Chinese and Japanese exams will be administered in school. In Administration 2 and 3, traditional exams are given for some subjects, including nine subjects (French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture; Chinese and Japanese Language and Culture computer-based exams, Latin, Music Theory, and Spanish Literature and Culture) that can only be administered in a proctored school setting.
  • Digital exams will be available for many subjects in Administration 2 and Administration 3. If your school building is closed or you can’t test in person for safety reasons, your school can authorize you to take a digital exam at home.
    • Digital exams can be taken on desktop or laptop computers and school-managed Chromebooks. Because they require typed free responses, they can’t be taken on smartphones.
    • Digital exams start at the same time worldwide. The exam timing is controlled by the exam app, not by you, the AP coordinator, or a proctor.
    • You won’t be able to return to questions you’ve answered or move back and forth between questions you haven’t answered.
    • If a digital exam is offered, there won’t be a paper and pencil version of the same exam offered   in the same administration period.
  • Digital exams will be full length. The exams will be as long as paper and pencil exams and test the same knowledge and skills. You won’t need to study or prepare differently to be successful on a digital exam. There are minor differences with paper and pencil exams, related to the testing format and exam security. For example, because it’s not feasible to have you draw graphs and figures online this year, for some exams you’ll be asked to answer questions about provided graphs and figures. See the Exam pages on AP Students for further details.
  • If you’re taking digital exams, you’ll need to complete some simple setup steps before exam day. We’ll share more information about this with your school later in the spring.


Not a student?

Go to AP Central for resources for educators