Planning to take AP exams in May? Act now to make sure tests are ordered by November 15th
The AP exam registration deadline is November 15th.
For most students, this date passes without much fanfare, because it’s most typical to take AP exams as part of an AP course offered by your school. In these instances, your school’s AP exam coordinator should be responsible for ordering your exams before this date.
That said, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are properly registered. There are instances where students opt to take AP exams independently, in which case they are responsible for registering themselves. And although it’s uncommon, even in the more typical scenario described above—where the exam coordinator manages the process—it’s not unheard of for administrative errors to occur.
If you do plan to take an AP exam without going through your school’s official AP course, the exam registration process will require much greater effort (and urgency) on the part of the student and parents. For that reason, it’s critical to take action as soon as possible before the deadline.
If you’re taking an AP course at your school:
Students enrolled in an AP course through their school will usually have the corresponding exam ordered for them by the exam coordinator ahead of the November 15th deadline. These students need to follow the steps below to ensure they are properly registered for their class section in MyAP.
1. Check that you are properly registered for your class section in MyAP
Simply log in to MyAP using your College Board account and make sure your AP courses appear there. Your teacher should have given you a “join code”. If you need assistance with this step, the College Board has a handy walkthrough guide.
2. Check that you are registered for the exam
Some schools automatically register all students in their AP courses for the corresponding AP exam, and others require you to confirm you will take it. If you see a “Register” button on your class section page, you will need to press this to opt-in. If there is no button, you are already registered. The date and time of your exam should also appear in MyAP when you are registered.
3. Work with your school’s AP coordinator to ensure your exam fees are paid
Your AP exam coordinator collects all fees payable for AP exams, so you should speak to them to make sure everything is squared away on this front.
If your school offers AP courses but you are not taking the AP course for which you wish to take the exam:
You should speak with your school’s AP exam coordinator right away to make sure that they order you the appropriate tests by the deadline. The AP coordinator can also help you enroll you in an “exam only” section in MyAP and pay the appropriate exam fees.
If your school does not offer AP courses:
If you plan to take any AP exam independently because your school does not offer AP courses or exams, you will need to find a different school to test at and get in touch with them as soon as possible. As outlined below, this scenario requires the greatest amount of work on your part and requires the greatest urgency. The earlier you start, the greater the chance you have to successfully register for the desired AP exam(s).
1. Speak with your school counselor and/or search the AP Course Ledger
Your school may have had students successfully take AP exams in the past and might know which schools in your area have been amenable to having your school’s students take exams there. If that fails, the AP Course Ledger is the most up-to-date resource to determine which schools in your area are offering a specific AP course. Consult this list and come up with a short list of schools offering the exam you want and which you could commute to on exam day.
Note that the AP Course Ledger will not be updated with schools offering the exams in May 2024 until this November. You should contact schools that offered your target exam in May 2023.
2. Contact possible schools
You will next need to search for the schools’ phone numbers. You should call the school and ask to speak with their AP coordinator to check if they are allowing external students to take AP tests there this May.
Note that schools are allowed to set their own deadlines for accepting outside students, so you should complete this step as soon as possible.
3. Follow the school’s steps for getting registered
Once you find a suitable place to test, everything will be handled through their AP coordinator. You will likely need to fill out some paperwork and pay the fee, and they will handle ordering your exam and communicating information with you about the test day protocol.
4. What if I can’t find somewhere to test?
The AP Course Ledger will be updated in November with schools that are offering the exam in May 2024, so you can check again later to see if any schools have added that test this year. It is possible for a school to order your exam after the November 15th deadline, but this may be subject to a late fee.