2021 Digital AP Exams Troubleshooting

Here are some tips in case you have technical issues before, during, or after your exam. For additional guidance, check out Top 10 Reminders for Digital AP Testing.

Before the Exam

Most issues can be identified and prevented if you complete key steps before exam day.

1. Confirm that you have an approved testing device with the minimum operating system and disk space requirements.

Remember: personal Chromebooks and tablets can’t be used for testing.

Make sure your computer’s clock is set to the correct local time.

2. Download and install the digital testing app and log in with your College Board username and password.

If you’re testing on a school-managed device, your school will either install the app for you or tell you how to install it.

Check the Remember Me box when you log in so you won’t need to reenter your username and password each time you return to the app. (But keep a copy of your username and password in case you need to log in before or on exam day.)

2021 AP Digital Exams - Login

3. Practice with example questions in the app.

If your device can’t run digital practice, it won’t work on exam day. Use the tips below to resolve any issues you encounter during digital practice. If you’re still having trouble, contact your AP coordinator.

Note: If you have approved accommodations and are planning to test using assistive technology, it’s important to do digital practice using the same assistive technology you plan to use for the exam, to make sure things work as expected. For some types of assistive technology, specific settings may need to be configured before you take the exam—review configuration instructions.

2021 AP Digital Exams - Practice

4. Complete exam setup in the app 1–3 days before each digital exam you take.

Exam setup loads your exam on your device. If you don’t complete exam setup before each of your digital exam days, you may not be able to test.

2021 AP Digital Exams - Setup

On exam day, you must check in 30 minutes before your exam’s start time. Your computer will need to be connected to the internet when the exam starts.

Below are some steps you can take to resolve exam disruptions, but please remember that once the exam begins at the official start times of 12 p.m. EDT or 4 p.m. EDT, the testing timer will continue counting down until time has run out.​ 


Starting or Accessing the Exam

What to Do

You can’t remember your College Board username and/or password and can’t log in to the digital testing app on exam day.

If you’re testing on a PC or Mac, you’ll receive an email the day before the exam with a personalized backup link that gives you access to your exam. You can use this link and your AP ID, also included in your email, to bypass logging in and start testing. Important: the AP ID is case-sensitive, so make sure to enter it exactly as it appears in your email (all caps).

If you have time before the exam, or are testing on a Chromebook, you can try recovering your username or resetting your password.

You can’t start the app or the app is stuck trying to launch.

Close the app and relaunch it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, try restarting your computer and launch the app again.

You can’t open the app on your Mac.

You might be clicking on the installer rather than the application.

When you installed the app, did you follow the directions and drag the Acorn icon to the Apps folder?

Don’t double-click the app on your desktop. Open your Mac's Finder window (MAC Finder Window) or the Launchpad and then click "Applications". You should now be able to find the "2021 Digital AP Exams" app and double-click it to open it.

If there’s an app update available, you may see a message that says “App Update Failed” with directions about how to open the app and not the installer.

The app asks you for an administrator username and password when checking for updates.

If you’re using a school-managed device, this probably means that the app was installed with the wrong configuration settings. Contact your AP coordinator immediately and let them know that the app needs to be reinstalled following the requirements on the tech coordinator download page.

If you’re testing on a personal device, you need to ask the administrator of the device to log in and complete installation.

During exam setup you get a "Test Configuration Failed" message.


You get the following message on the app homepage: "You need 40 MB of available space to run any digital exam. You must exit the app and delete some files on your device. Then relaunch the app and try again."

You don’t have enough disk space to complete a pre-exam step or take your digital AP Exam. You need to create additional space on your computer by removing other files or applications, if possible.

Space requirements:

  • Windows: 250 MB free hard drive space for 1 exam (plus 100 MB for each subsequent exam)
  • Mac: 400 MB free hard drive space for 1 exam (plus 100 MB for each subsequent exam)
  • Chromebook: 100 MB of storage for 1 exam (plus 100 MB for each subsequent exam)

You try to check in on a device that isn’t the device on which you originally completed exam setup.

You must complete exam setup before check-in on the device you plan to test with.

You start check-in on one device and try to finish check-in on another device and are unable to continue. You see this message: “You Cannot Check In on Multiple Devices.”

You can’t check in on multiple devices. You’ll be prompted to complete check-in on the first device.

You try to start the check-in process after the exam’s official start time and are not permitted to proceed.

Students are required to begin check-in before the exam start time.

You’re approved for accommodations and don’t see them listed during exam setup.

Be aware that only the types of accommodations that are delivered through the digital testing application—accessible form, breaks, and extended time—will be listed on your personal information page during exam setup if you’re approved for them. Accessible form is listed if you’re approved for any of the following accommodations:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Assistive Technology Compatible Test Form
  • Braille with Raised Line Drawings, Contracted
  • Braille Writer
  • Human Reader
  • Pre-recorded Audio (MP3 via streaming)
  • Raised Line Drawings
  • Writer/Scribe to Record Responses

Students approved for an accommodation that gets an accessible form can use applicable assistive technology for their exam.

You may be approved for other types of accommodations that aren’t delivered through the app (for example, permission for food/drink/medication). These won’t be listed on your personal information page. If you are only approved for these kinds of accommodations, you’ll see a message on your personal information page that says “You don’t have any approved digital testing accommodations.” However, you can use these accommodations, if approved by the College Board SSD office, as you typically would.

All digital exams have a tool to zoom in, which students approved for large print or magnification can use.

If you have any questions about which accommodations you’re approved to use for your digital exam, check your College Board SSD Student Accommodations Letter or contact your school’s AP coordinator and SSD coordinator before exam day.

If you believe that an incorrect accommodation has been applied to your exam or your exam doesn’t have an accommodation you expected to receive, contact your school’s AP coordinator.

The internet connection goes out after you’ve checked in, but before the exam starts.

Your testing computer must be connected to the internet for your exam to start.

If your internet connection goes out after you have checked -in for your exam but before your exam starts, you may restart the computer (Windows/Mac) or exit the testing app (Chromebook), reconnect your computer to the internet, and relaunch the app. If you had already checked in, you’ll be able to test, even if the exam has already started when you relaunch the app. Remember – once you’ve checked in, you should only exit the app if the internet goes out, or a similar emergency.

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During the Exam

App or Internet Issues

What to Do

The app crashes or freezes.

Restart the app and resume testing. If it happens again, restart your computer, then restart the app and resume testing.

If you’re running the app on a Chromebook and you need to exit, hold down the power button for 1 second and then select Sign Out. Then relaunch the app.

Do not uninstall and reinstall the app.

You accidentally exit the app.

Relaunch the app and hit Resume Testing to get back to the question you were on. The testing timer will continue counting down while the app is closed.

2021 AP Digital Exams - Resume Testing

The internet connection goes out during the exam.

Keep testing. The app is designed to keep running even if your connection drops momentarily.

If you still don’t have a connection at the end of the exam when your responses need to be submitted, don’t worry. Your responses will be securely saved on your device and can be submitted when your connection is restored. See below for instructions.

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After the Exam

Answer Submission Issues

What to Do

If the app is unable to automatically submit your responses—usually because the internet connection is down—you’ll see a screen that reads “STOP. Your Answer Submission is Incomplete” with instructions.

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 homepage, close the app, reopen it, and try again.

Do not uninstall and reinstall the app.

2021 AP Digital Exams - Upload Fail

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.

Your exam is over, but you see “Resume Testing” instead of “Submit Responses.”

Your testing experience was interrupted, but your answers were saved to your testing computer, so you just need to click Resume Testing, which will then become Submit Responses, and you can resume your upload. You will not actually be able to resume taking the exam, but you can submit your responses.

You don’t know if your answers were submitted.

When your answers have been successfully uploaded, you’ll see a “Congratulations!” screen that looks like this:

2021 AP Digital Exams - Congrats!

You can also make sure your answers were received by returning to the home screen in the ”2021 Digital AP Exams” app. Go to the Past Exams tab. On the card for your exam, you should see a message that your answers have been received.

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