Directions for the 2021 Digital AP Environmental Science Exam

Exam and section directions will appear in the testing application

Unlike on paper and pencil exams, students taking digital exams will receive directions primarily from the digital testing application, not from a proctor, whether they take the digital exam at school or at home.

On the digital exam, directions will be shown on a pop-up in the digital exam application when the clock starts at the beginning of each section. Students will have a chance to read them before starting to answer questions, and can view them at any time by clicking the Directions link in the upper left corner of the application.  

Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear at the beginning of each section. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so, both at the beginning of each section and while they’re working during the exam.

General Exam Directions will appear in the left column of the directions pop-up, and will be the same for all sections of that exam. Section Directions will appear in the right column, and will be specific to each section of the exam.

When you answer digital practice questions in the digital testing application, these same directions will appear along with a note when practice has a different number of questions than the actual exam.

The following is the full text of the directions that will appear on the digital AP Environmental Science Exam.

Exam Directions

The AP Environmental Science Exam is 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Section I lasts 90 minutes and contains 80 multiple-choice questions, Section II lasts 70 minutes and contains 3 free-response questions.

You may use a four-function (with square root), scientific, or graphing calculator on all sections of the exam.

Please note that you are responsible for pacing yourself. The clock will turn red when 5 minutes remain, but the proctor or app will not give you any other time updates. 

Do not spend too much time on any one question, but remember that you cannot go back to a question once you’ve moved on to the next question.

You may use scratch paper for notes and planning, but credit will only be given for responses entered in this application.

Section Directions–Section I

Section I: 90 minutes, 80 multiple-choice questions.

Each of the questions or incomplete statements in this section is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the best answer to each question.

Section Directions–Section II

Section II: 70 minutes, 3 free-response questions.

In this section, you will answer each question in multiple parts, shown on separate screens. You may move back and forth among the parts of the question you are answering, but once you answer the last part of the question and go on to the next one, you cannot go back to any part of the question you finished.

You are advised to spend approximately 22 minutes answering each question.

Each answer should be organized, comprehensive, and in prose form; outline form is not acceptable. Do not spend time restating the questions or providing more than the number of examples called for. For instance, if a question calls for two examples, you can earn credit only for the first two examples you provide.

Where calculations are required, clearly show how you arrived at your answer. Where explanation or discussion is required, support your answers with relevant information and/or specific examples. 

All responses can be typed on a standard keyboard, along with special characters you can access from the Ω button on the toolbar.

​​For prompts that reference a specific question part, you can click on the » symbol shown in the prompt to automatically scroll to the referenced location.

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