Spring 2020 AP Exams - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
UPDATED May 13, 2020
College Board has found that the format for how iPhones save photos (HEIC format) is not compatible with the exam submission requirements. The HEIC format cannot be submitted “as is” on the online exam, and must be converted to an accepted file format (.jpg, .jpeg, .png) before it can be submitted in the online exam.
Students can do this one of two ways:
- College Board recomends updating Apple device settings before the exam so that photos will be saved as .jpeg files. This can be done by going to Settings > Camera > Formats > Select "Most Compatible"
- Send the image to themselves via the iPhone or iPad mail app, which will automatically convert the file to a JPEG. If students save the file to their computer using a their USB cable, or through another online data storage service, it is likely the file will remain in HEIC format and will not be compatible with the online exam.
College Board also recommends students should make sure they are using the latest version of their browser and update their browsers if necessary before testing.
- When a student finishes the exam and their submission has been received, they will see a screen that says “Congratulations, Your Exam is Complete.”
- When a student finishes the exam, but their submission has not been properly uploaded, they'll see a message that says “We Did Not Receive Your Responses (s).” In this case, students can request a makeup at cb.org/requestmakeup.
What should a student do if they don’t remember seeing either message on the screen about form submission? Should they request a makeup exam?
If a student isn’t sure whether they’ve submitted a response, they can request a makeup exam. However, once they submit a makeup request, any response they submitted for the May Exam will be invalidated.
Students should wait until they receive a confirmation screen at the end of their test telling them whether their responses went through. They should get a message saying either congratulations they did, or they did not and they need to submit a form to re-test.
- Once students click Submit, their response may continue to transfer, depending on their bandwidth. Students will be able to move to the next question, even while the first question continues to transfer, as long as they click Submit before the time ran out.
- If your response continues to transfer after the exam ends – WAIT for an on-screen message confirming that your exam is complete – make sure your submissions have fully loaded before you close your browser or turn off or restart your computer.
College Board is posting news and updates at this website: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates
According to the College Board website, additional information regarding the details and questions below will be available at the end of April.
Will there still be AP exams?
Yes, College Board is developing online AP exams to be taken in May. The exam fee will still be $94 per exam.
What will the AP exams be like?
The AP exams will be 45-minute free-response exams on content students learned as of early March. Because of the challenges created by COVID-19, College Board is developing a new at-home AP Exam option. Students will be able to test on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. To be fair to all students, the exams will only cover topics typically covered by early March.
General information about exam features, exam timing, before exam day, on exam day, and after can be found at: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/educators/taking-the-exams
When will the AP exams be scheduled?
AP exams will be held May 11-22, 2020. Specific AP exam schedule can be found at: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students/taking-ap-exams/ap-exam-schedule. Makeup exam dates are June 1-5. College Board recommends that students participate on the main testing dates in May.
How secure are these online exams?
The at-home exams are designed and administered in ways that prevent cheating; College Board uses a range of tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect exam integrity. Scoring at-home AP Exam work is not new; for years, College Board has done this for Computer Science Principles and Capstone. General information about exam security can be found at: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/educators/taking-the-exams/security
Is there a practice or review available for the AP exams?
Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, you can attend free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These courses are optional, mobile-friendly, and can be used alongside any work your teacher may give you.
- Will be available on-demand, so you can access them any time.
- Will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course. There will also be some supplementary lessons covering the final 25% of the course.
To access the live classes and recordings, visit the AP YouTube channel or find your course schedule below. We’ll be adding more courses soon.
Additional course-specific information can be found at the College Board website: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates.
College Board tips for success on open book/open note exams can be found at: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students/open-book-tips
Why are the online AP classes covering new material?
The first few weeks of the online AP classes are supplementary lessons covering the final 25% of the course. Colleges have asked that students still be taught in order to receive credit, even though they’re not in the exam. Then the remaining weeks will focus on review lessons covering the first 75% of the course.
What about exams for Computer Science Principles and Studio Art & Design?
AP students in Computer Science Principles; Seminar; Research; and Art & Design do not have a final AP exam; as usual, they will submit projects digitally. College Board has extended deadlines for these submissions to 10:59 pm CT on May 26, and reduced the number of required art portfolio works.
What about exams for world language and culture exams?
World language and culture exams will consist of two spoken tasks; written responses will not be required.
Will there be college credit opportunities?
College Board states that colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies. https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates
What if I am not sure if I can access these online tests?
College Board is investing so that every AP student impacted by COVID-19 has the technology and connectivity they need to view the AP review sessions and take the exam from home. Students who need mobile tools or connectivity can sign up online to receive resources: /collegeboard.tfaforms.net/74
Will there be refunds for students who do not take the online exam?
Yes, exam fees will be waived and a full refund will be given to students who decide not to take their online AP exam. https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates. Refunds will be given in June after College Board provides confirmation of students who did not take their scheduled exam.
How will College Board’s online exams support students testing with accommodations, such as extended time?
Students may only use accommodations that they've been approved for by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office. Specific details on commonly approved accommodations can be found at the College Board's Accommodation for 2020 AP Exams webpage.
If a student wants to forgo College Board–approved accommodations on AP Exams, they must notify the College Board SSD office by email no later than April 24, 2020. The email must include SSD AP Accommodations Opt Out in the subject line; the student's full name, school, AP ID, and SSD number; the AP Exam they are taking; and the accommodation they want to waive.
- Students under age 18 should have their parent or guardian send an email to the College Board SSD office at firstname.lastname@example.org acknowledging this waiver.
- Students 18 and over may email SSD themselves at email@example.com.
For additional assistance email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about College Board accommodation information.
Will students in Calculus AB still get a sub-score on their calculus exam? Can students in Calculus BC take the Calculus AB exam to get a sub-score?
With the new exam format, AP Calculus BC will not provide a Calculus AB sub-score which has been standard in years past. Students currently enrolled in Calculus BC who want to take the Calculus AB exam instead must indicate this by April 20, 2020.