About the 2020 AP Exams
The 2020 AP Exams weres developed in close consultation with higher ed faculty, as AP Exams are every year. Students’ work will be scored by our network of college faculty and AP readers and reported on a 1–5 scale, where 3 and higher indicates preparedness for success on subsequent coursework in the discipline.
- Timing: Exams are being held from May 11–22 and make-up test dates will be available for each subject from June 1–5. Each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide.
- Length: For most subjects, the exams are 45 minutes long, plus an additional 5 minutes for uploading.
- General Exam Format: We developed secure, online free-response exams for each course. Most exams have one or two free-response questions, and each question will be timed separately. Students will need to write and submit their responses within the allotted time for each question.
- Courses with Portfolio-Based Assesment: The Art and Design: 2D; Art and Design: 3D; Computer Science Principles; Drawing; Research; and Seminar courses will use portfolio submissions, and will not have a separate online exam. All are due May 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.
- World Language & Culture Exams: Students will complete two listening and speaking tasks (interpersonal and presentational communication-focused) consistent with free-response questions previous AP Exams.
To see what units of particular AP courses will be the focus of 2020 exam questions, visit the AP Covid-19 Updates page. You can understand what content is covered in those units on AP Central. Select the course you’re interested in learning more about, and then choose Course and Exam Description.
Credit & Placement Recommendations
In this tumultuous year, the overwhelming majority of institutions we have spoken to have committed to honoring AP credit and placement policies they already have in place. Since our March 20 announcement on the digital AP Exams, in addition to individual institutions making this public statement of support, many states and systems of higher education have also publicly committed to awarding credit or placement in 2020 based on their existing policies.
We recommend that institutions publicly commit to honoring their AP credit and placement policies to reassure students that you value their achievement of college-level proficiency. This will make your institution’s credit options transparent to prospective incoming students and their families.
To that end we have developed materials you can use.
AP Exam Validity
As we do whenever there is a change to an AP Exam, we follow protocols and procedures central to standardized testing, conducting a standard-setting process. This is a major undertaking, one that we normally do not do every year, only when an exam changes. This year, we will run a standard-setting process for all AP Exams.
We have conducted analyses of past administrations of AP Exams, examining to what extent students’ performance on content from the first 75% of the course is predictive of performance on the overall exam. Our findings, which show a tremendous amount of correlation enable us to be fair to all students by providing an exam based on topics they will already have covered prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Students will also have the flexibility to complete course instruction after test date, if necessary.
We’re working to release scores as close to the usual July time frame as possible. Check this page soon for further information. Scores will not be asterisked or marked in any way that would set them apart from previous or future AP Exam administrations. In this unusual testing year, we will be unable to provide subscores for Calculus or Music Theory.
AP Exam Security
This year’s AP Exams will be open book/open note. However, students may not consult with any other individuals during the testing period. We will take necessary steps to protect the integrity of each exam administration, as we do every year. We’re confident the vast majority of AP students will follow the rules for taking the exams. For the small number of students who may try to gain an unfair advantage, we have a comprehensive and strict set of protocols in place to prevent and detect cheating. We’re keeping some of these protocols confidential to maximize their effectiveness. Protocols include:
- Developing exam questions that require students to demonstrate critical thinking and synthesis skills, as opposed to providing content that can be found in textbooks or online.
- Requiring student verification of their identity and confirmation that the work they submitted is their own.
- Use of a range of digital security tools, including plagiarism detection software and post-administration analytics, to protect the integrity of the exams.
- Providing AP teachers with copies of the work their students submit, enabling teachers to spot inconsistencies with students’ known work.
Students will be able to use their approved accommodations for 2020 AP Exams. This year the way accommodations are provided may be different because the exams are shorter and will be taken online at home. Specific information about accommodations for AP world language and culture exams will be available the week of April 27. As always, students may only use accommodations that they've been approved for by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office. More information is available online.
AP Review Courses
We offered optional free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These mobile-friendly classes are designed to be used alongside work schools may continue to assign. The courses have been viewed millions times since they launched.