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AP exams go online, cut late-stage content

The changes allow students to take their exams from home amid COVID conditions.

The College Board announced today that May’s AP exams will be administered online, allowing students to take their tests at home. These tests will be computer-, mobile-, and tablet-friendly, and students will apparently even be able to send in photographs of handwritten exams. Additionally, the College Board has promised to work with students without access to technology.

In addition, these exams will be shorter, as the College Board has decided to only include information that teachers would likely have covered by mid-March. Each exam will be offered twice, so students can take the test early or take more time to study if they need. The College Board has convened a panel of experts to audit each exam, removing and adding questions as needed. Some of the details are still pending, including the specifics of the online platform the College Board plans to use and the new exam schedule, but the College Board plans to release that information on April 3rd.

The shift to at-home testing raises concerns about test security, but the College Board is confident that it has the correct protocols in place to prevent any major breaches. In fact, several AP exams have been at-home for years, including AP Capstone finals. Even though the test will be different than it has been in years past, the College Board states that colleges will treat these AP exam scores the exact same way.

The College Board will provide increased access to online AP materials to help make up for lost instruction and review time. This includes review questions, sample problems, and 45-minute long general review sessions hosted by the College Board.

Students in IB courses find themselves in a similar situation, with their May exams in question. The International Baccalaureate is currently working on a solution and will have a plan in place by March 27th.

In the wake of this news, we’re adjusting our own tutoring based on the College Board’s new parameters for each exam. To help our families during this time, we are reducing our AP/IB private tutoring rate and allowing families to pay as they go rather than purchase packages. We hope this shift will allow you to choose the right amount of tutoring for your student when their school reality is changing week by week. To enroll and get matched with a tutor, click here.

We’ll also be offering group AP review sessions right before the official AP test dates. We’ll share dates and registration details as soon as the College Board releases the new AP exam schedule on April 3.

With the spring semester changing so rapidly, we know there’s a lot to think about. If you have any questions about your student’s AP preparedness and next steps, please reach out to us – we’re here to help.

From all of us here at Applerouth, we hope your family is staying safe and healthy in the midst of this difficult time.


Applerouth is a trusted test prep and tutoring resource. We combine the science of learning with a thoughtful, student-focused approach to help our clients succeed. Call or email us today at 212-731-4676 or info@applerouth.com.