Taking Digital Exams

After check-in, you’ll wait until the official start time of the exam. The exam will begin automatically.

Answering Multiple-Choice Questions

Here is an example of a multiple-choice question in the digital testing app:

Taking Digital Exams - Answering MC Questions Screen

In this example, the stimulus is on the left and the question and answer options are on the right. Other questions might not have a stimulus. Some questions come in sets, with more than one question referring to the same stimulus.

You would select an answer option before moving on to the next question. Some questions in AP Computer Science Principles, AP Physics 1, and AP Physics 2 will require you to select two correct answer options.

Remember: You won’t be allowed to move back to previous questions or review questions you’ve already answered. So, if you skip ahead, you won’t be able to go back.

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Break Between Sections

At the conclusion of Section I, you’ll get a 20-minute break. You’ll see a break screen with a timer counting down the time until the start of the next section.

Pay attention to the timer. The exam resumes automatically when the break ends. If you’re not seated and ready to test before the end of the break, you may lose time on the exam.

  • You must not exit the app or close your laptop screen.
  • You may not communicate with your teacher or any other exam taker.
  • You may not access any prohibited device or resource.
  • You should not remove the testing device from the testing room.

You may take an unscheduled break, such as a restroom break, during testing, but the timer doesn’t stop. You should not use the Exit button for bathroom breaks.

In some subjects, Section I and/or Section II are divided into two parts. In those subjects, you’ll have a one-minute transition between Parts A and B—these are not breaks. As on paper and pencil exams, the transition between parts doesn’t count against your testing time for either part, and you can’t work on your exam during that time.

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Answering Free-Response Questions

Here’s an example of a free-response question:

Taking Digital Exams - Answering FRQ screen

In this example, the stimulus is on the left and the prompt and text entry box are on the right. Some questions, such as this one, are answered in parts over separate screens, while others are answered all on one screen. For questions that are answered in parts, you’ll be able to move back and forth between the parts.

If a question has sources or documents—Document-Based Questions (DBQs) in the history exams, the Synthesis question in English Language and Composition, and Seminar Part B—you can select any of the documents to display on the left, while composing your response on the right.

You’ll type responses directly into the app. All of your work is saved to your device automatically and frequently while the exam is running. You can’t upload any files during testing, and you can’t submit any handwritten work.

Basic formatting tools will be available: Bold, Italic, Underline; Superscript and Subscript; Undo and Redo; Special Characters; and Cut, Copy, and Paste.

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Tools and Features

The digital testing app has a number of tools and features to support you as you test. You should practice with these tools and features, using the digital practice questions.

Taking Digital Exams - Tools and Features: Timer Screen

  • Directions: You can access the exam directions and section-specific directions at any time with the link under the course name.
  • Timer: During the exam, a timer at the top of the screen will tell you how much time remains for the section. You can hide the timer, if you choose, except in the last 5 minutes of a section. In the last 5 minutes of the section the timer turns red and can no longer be hidden.
  • Annotate: To help you organize your thoughts, you can highlight any part of a stimulus or question and type a note about the highlighted text. You can view your annotation by hovering over the highlighted text or clicking it. You’ll be able to edit your notes or delete highlighting before you leave a question. Note: your annotations will not be submitted with your responses or scored.

    Taking Digital Exams - Tools and Features: Annotate

  • Reference: In the STEM courses that have reference materials like formulas and equations, you can access them directly in the digital testing app.
  • Help: On every screen in the exam, you have access to a help page where you can view frequently asked questions.
  • More: Use this button to access Zoom In, Zoom Out, and Exit.

    Taking Digital Exams - Tools and Features: More Options Features Screen

    • Zoom: If you have trouble viewing text or images, you can use the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons to enlarge or reduce them.
    • Exit: You should only use this button if you have a technical problem you can’t resolve during the exam. In that case, you exit the exam, relaunch the app, and resume testing where you left off. Do not use the Exit button for bathroom breaks. Note: The Exit button does not pause the timer—if you exit the application, the timer continues to count down.
  • Expand Right and Expand Left: Use these arrows if you want a long passage or text you’re composing to take up more of the screen.

    Taking Digital Exams - Tools and Features: Expand Screen

  • On-Screen Warnings and Reminders:
    • You’ll receive an on-screen warning when there are 5 minutes remaining in the section. The clock will remain visible and highlighted red until the time limit is elapsed.
    • You’ll receive on-screen reminders that you can’t go back to questions once you’ve left them. You’ll get a reminder when you attempt to move on from your first multiple-choice question and whenever you attempt to leave a multiple-choice question you haven’t answered. You’ll get a reminder whenever you attempt to leave a free-response question (or, for free-response questions answered in multiple parts, the last part of the question).

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Answer Submission

When the exam is over, your answers will be submitted automatically. During the upload process, you’ll see this screen:

Taking Digital Exams - Answer Submission Complete Screen

Don’t try to click anything, refresh the page, or exit the app.

When your responses have been successfully uploaded, you’ll see this screen, which means the exam is over and the AP Program has received all of your responses:

Taking Digital Exams - Answer Submission Success Screen

If answer submission fails—usually because the internet connection is down—you’ll see this screen:

Taking Digital Exams - Answer Submission Incomplete Screen

Your answers are saved to your testing computer, so you just need to reconnect to the internet and resume the upload, using the Try Again button.

If you’re connected and Try Again isn’t working, click Return to Homepage. From the home page, close the app, reopen it, and try again.

If these options don’t work within 24 hours after the end of the exam, you can call AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427. Don’t call immediately when you have a submission problem—the above steps should work in nearly all cases.

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