How Has COVID-19 Affected 2020 AP® Exams?

By Emily Munger

Due to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the College Board® has made changes to this year’s AP® Exams.

These changes come in the form of a revised format, structure, and schedule. In a recent survey conducted by the College Board®, it was discovered that most students prefer to take the test regardless of school closures resulting in educational disruptions.

This is more than likely a result of students wanting to take the test sooner rather than later while course content is still fresh and in anticipation of possibly receiving college credit for a passing score.

While the 2020 AP exams will still take place, the circumstances will be different. Students will take the exams at home, and the exams will be online and accessible via computers and tablets.

All exams will be structured as free-response questions, meaning multiple-choice questions will be omitted. Some exams have a spoken component or portfolio submission.

Additionally, the exams will be open book and open note. However, this should not be mistaken as an opportunity for collaboration with other students.

While exams will not be proctored, the College Board has announced strict security guidelines to ensure academic honesty.

We recommend replicating the testing environment as closely as possible. Find a quiet space, remove all distractions, and treat the test exactly as you would if you were taking it in school.

Revised AP Exam Schedule

Along with the updated testing format, there is also a revised schedule. All testing will take place from May 11th-May 22nd. Makeup options will take place Monday, June 1st – Friday, June 5th.

Monday, May 11th

  • 11:00 AM CST: Physics C: Mechanics
  • 1:00 PM CST: Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • 3:00 PM CST: United States Government and Politics

Tuesday, May 12th

  • 11:00 AM CST: Latin
  • 1:00 PM CST: Calculus AB, Calculus BC
  • 3:00 PM CST: Human Geography

Wednesday, May 13th

  • 11:00 AM CST: Physics 2: Algebra-Based
  • 1:00 PM CST: English Literature and Composition
  • 3:00 PM CST: European History

Thursday, May 14th

  • 11:00 AM CST: Spanish Literature and Culture
  • 1:00 PM CST: Chemistry
  • 3:00 PM CST: Physics 1: Algebra-Based

Friday, May 15th

  • 11:00 AM CST: Art History
  • 1:00 PM CST: United States History
  • 3:00 PM CST: Computer Science A

Monday, May 18th

  • 11:00 AM CST: Chinese Language and Culture
  • 1:00 PM CST: Biology
  • 3:00 PM CST: Environmental Science

Tuesday, May 19th

  • 11:00 AM CST: Music Theory
  • 1:00 PM CST: Psychology
  • 3:00 PM CST: Japanese Language and Culture, Italian Language and Culture

Wednesday, May 20th

  • 11:00 AM CST: German Language and Culture
  • 1:00 PM CST: English Language and Composition
  • 3:00 PM CST: Microeconomics

Thursday, May 21st

  • 11:00 AM CST: French Language and Culture
  • 1:00 PM CST: World History: Modern
  • 3:00 PM CST: Macroeconomics

Friday, May 22nd

  • 11:00 AM CST: Comparative Government and Politics
  • 1:00 PM CST: Statistics
  • 3:00 PM CST: Spanish Language and Culture

How to Study for At-Home, Online AP Exams

Don’t let these unusual circumstances detract from the importance of studying. Just because this year’s tests will allow you to use your notes & textbooks, it does not mean that the tests will be easy.

Exams will still be timed, and in fact, they will be shorter than usual. Preparing for these tests is still crucial!

There are things you can do from home to study for this year’s AP exams. College Board has released subject-specific video sessions on YouTube for AP students to attend.

Since we know that the format of the tests will be free-response, it’s a good idea to practice your writing skills. Brush up on your vocabulary and make sure you proofread your responses!

Will colleges look at this year’s exam scores differently?

Some colleges, like the distinguished University of California system for example, stated that they will continue to offer course credit for students who receive a 3 or above on their AP exams.

That being said, the notion that colleges will eventually do away with awarding credit for AP exams is nothing new. While the position of some colleges remains uncertain, KD’s VP of College Counseling Steve Peifer says, “It will never hurt you to take the AP test and do well.”

Emily Munger is an associate director at our Frisco campus.


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