How are AP exams affected by COVID-19?

In response to the complications caused by the Coronavirus, the College Board has revised both the test format and schedule for AP exams this year.  Instead of traveling to a secure testing site, students will be able to take them online from the comfort of their own homes or in their schools if they reopen.  So, what exactly should you expect?


  • The College Board has posted a complete schedule for every exam along with makeup dates.  Exams will take place between May 11 through May 22, and the make-up dates are June 1 to June 5.  
  • Later in April, the College Board will post information for how to access the exams, take them, and post your work.  We will also post updates and offer assistance for students trying to navigate this process.  For a complete schedule, click here.  

Test Format:

  •  The most significant changes are that almost every exam will be 45 minutes long and require students to respond to 1-2 open response questions.  
  •  There will NOT be any multiple-choice questions this year!  
  • Students WILL be allowed to use materials (books and notes) when taking the test, but they will not be allowed to collaborate with other people.
  •  Content will be limited to only what has been covered up to the month of March.
  • The College Board has provided a subject-specific guide for each exam here. Make sure to scroll down past the calendar to find each subject.

Helpful tips for answering open-response questions!

  • The most important thing to remember about answering open-response questions is that simply memorizing facts/concepts/details is not as important as APPLYING that information to EXPLAIN/DO something.  For example, memorizing the important events and people involved in the Civil War is great, but you HAVE to be able to explain WHY those events and people are important.
  • The College Board is allowing students to use resources and notes, so make sure to PREPARE and ORGANIZE your notes ahead of time.  Remember, most tests will only provide you with 45 minutes to answer the question(s).  You might be have excellent notes, but the College Board isn’t grading your notes, it is grading your response.  If you are unorganized before you take the test, it is very possible that you will waste time looking for the information you need instead of writing your response.
  • Be Clear, Concise, and Unified: Remember, time is a factor, so it is important to keep the main points of your response clear, concise, and unified.  Don’t get bogged down in adding extra details and examples for one point if it means not you can’t fully explain a second point.  Graders want to see a response that uses information to analyze a specific concept in a logical order.

How can Education Station be helpful?

We are getting ready to roll out online programs to remain a helpful resource to our high school students as they navigate a new examination format. AP Exam Prep Workshops will prepare students with the essential tools and strategies they need to be ready and confident when test day arrives. During this class students will understand scoring guidelines and how to apply them strategically to prepare for free-response questions.

AP Exam Prep Workshops will help students best prepare for their AP exams so they can go in feeling ready and confident! Learn more about

By Sims Yun, Co-founder and Director of Academic Services and Tutoring