Overview of Digital AP Exams

The following details apply to all 2021 digital AP Exams*:

  • Registration: You can’t take a digital AP Exam unless your AP coordinator has assigned you to that exam. Your school decides whether digital exams will be offered.
     
  • Testing locations: Digital AP Exams can be taken at school or other school-proctored locations. Your AP coordinator can also authorize the exams to be taken at home.
     
  • Length: Digital AP Exams will be as long as paper and pencil exams and test the same knowledge and skills. Most exams have multiple-choice and free-response sections. 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. 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.
     
  • Start Times: Exams start automatically at the same time worldwide, at 12 p.m. or 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). For exams with 2 sections, the second section starts automatically, after the scheduled break. The exam timing is controlled by the digital testing app, not by you, the AP coordinator, or a proctor.
     
  • Devices: Exams are taken on desktop and laptop computers (Mac, Windows, school-managed Chromebooks). Personal Chromebooks are not allowed. The computer must have a power cord. Because digital AP Exams require typed free responses, they can’t be taken on smartphones or tablets.
     
  • Internet: An internet connection is required, but you’ll be able to continue testing even if your connection drops momentarily.
     
  • Exam Security: Digital AP Exams have been designed with security in mind, so you can take exams at home if you can’t test at your school. You won’t be able to return to questions you’ve answered or move back and forth between questions you haven’t answered.
     
  • Readiness Steps: You need to complete a few simple steps before exam day to confirm that your testing computer is ready for the exam.
     
  • Practice: In April, the digital testing application will be available to download. Your school will let you know whether you should install the app on your testing computer or if they’ll do it for you. Once you have the app, you’ll be able to practice with an exam app demo. You’ll get to try each type of multiple-choice and free-response question you’ll see on exam day and practice using the tools and features in the app.
     
  • Accommodations: If you’ve been approved for testing accommodations by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities office, your accommodations can be used on digital AP Exams. You won’t need to reapply for accommodations to take digital AP Exams.

* Except for computer-based, in-school Chinese and Japanese Language and Culture exams

Not a student?

Go to AP Central for resources for educators