Last Updated On: March 3rd, 2021
If you’re currently enrolled in an AP class, you may have heard that last year’s 2020 testing for AP exams looked a lot different than previous years (with shorter, modified at-home versions of the tests). This year, 2021, the testing format has changed again in an effort to better adapt to student needs.
So if you’re testing in Spring 2021, there are a few key details to be aware of:
1) Determine which “administration” you’ll be testing in. This is a new concept this year to schedule tests across multiple dates depending on the format (whether on paper versus online, as well as in school versus at home). Schools typically make this decision for you so it’s best to check with your AP teacher about which exact date and format you’re preparing for. Read more about this update here: AP 2021 Exam Dates
2) Unlike 2020 testing, 2021 AP digital exams will be full-length and will cover the full content required for college credit. Each test has specific format requirements (for example, most AP language exams will be offered only on paper and in school). To read more about general formats per test, check out About the 2021 Exam Schedule. To familiarize yourself with units covered and exact dates for each administration, take a look at AP Courses and Exams.
3) If your school opts for at-home online testing, you will need to install the AP digital exam application. This is another new feature for 2021 testing. Check out the AP Digital Testing Guide as well to ensure you’re up to date on the tech requirements. In general, make sure you have a good Internet connection and an electronic device that works well for composing free response questions. If you do not have reliable access to the Internet or a computer/device, let your teacher know as soon as possible. College Board has partnered with a few organizations to supply necessary items to students testing online this year, so your school administrator or teacher may be able to help. As always, the sooner you communicate the better!
4) As with any AP test regardless of the year, be sure to review your previous tests, assignments, essays, and the feedback from your teacher in order to learn from your mistakes. Pay special attention to feedback on constructed response questions. Take advantage of review sessions and office hours offered by your teacher, especially those that allow you to receive personalized feedback on your writing. If your teacher isn’t offering online classes or review sessions, or if you feel like you need more, take advantage of the free video classes and review sessions on the AP’s YouTube channel.
5) Check the College Board’s 2021 AP website regularly for updates. The website currently mentions a series called AP Daily: Live Review running from April 19 – 29 to help students prepare as test dates approach that will be posted to their YouTube channel. Keep an eye on their website for more details and other resources.
6) Feel confident in your hard work and do your best on test day! If you struggle with testing anxiety, read our Test Anxiety blog series for great insider tips and info on how to structure your study, pace yourself, and focus on test day.
If you’re wanting to work with a private, one-on-one tutor prior to test day, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation!