From Paper to Screen: AP Exams Switch Online


Nicole Seemann, Website Editor

The coronavirus has made everything a little chaotic, and many students would agree that school is a whole new universe than in the past. All school events are cancelled, students are working from home and AP exams are no longer being administered at school.  Now hold up, don’t get all excited thinking there’s no tests. There will still  be AP exams, tests taken for those in Advanced Placement classes that offer college-level curriculum to high school students in order to acquire a college credit. Though, these exams are taking a new turn and  have been altered for an online platform.

It’s been decided that AP exams will be given from May 11 to May 22 and each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide. Though make-up test dates will be obtainable from June 1 to June 5.  

Due to the effects of COVID-19, some students have lost more time in class than others. In order to be fair to all individuals, the College Board has decided to only cover topics most AP teachers have already taught by early March. Make sure to check the College Board to see which concepts will not be included on the exam. 

Taking an exam online is extremely different than in a classroom, and the College Board has prepared for this change.

  • Like many college-level exams, they will be open note and book this year.
  • Most exams will consist of only two free-response questions, with each question timed separately.
  • Exam’s will average 45 minutes and provide five additional minutes to allow students to upload their answers.
  • The College Board stresses the importance of entering the online testing system 30 minutes before in order to get set up. 
  • Students will be allowed to access the exams from any device whether it be a computer, tablet or even smartphone. 
  • Students are given the option between uploading their responses, or writing them by hand and sending in a photo.
  • For students who still might need access to mobile tools or connectivity, they can fill out a survey for the College Board at or if they’re unable to fill out the form, then email them at [email protected]


What does this mean in terms of college credit and grading? Well the AP test will be scored by the College Board’s college faculty and AP readers (just like in that past) and will continue to be scored on a scale of one to five. The College Board has communicated with hundreds of institutions and are assured that many higher education institutions will provide credit as usual. 

This situation can be very stressful and disorienting for a number of students, but the College Board is trying its best to help them prepare for these exams. As of April 1, they have and are continuing to provide live AP review lessons delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These live sessions are recorded and can be accessed at any time on their website or YouTube channel called “Advanced Placement.” These lessons not only go over the few remaining topics not finished in AP classes, but also focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75 percent of the course. 

These are stressful times, impacting the lives of students all over the globe. It’s important to not let the coronavirus control us, but continue to get ready for the future. Stay on track and continue to prepare for the AP exams; don’t let the virus get in the way of you accomplishing your goals.  

Exam Start Times: Local times vary depending on a student’s geographic location. Hawaii Time: 6:00 a.m.
Alaska Time: 8:00 a.m.
Pacific Time: 9:00 a.m.
Mountain Time: 10:00 a.m.
Central Time: 11:00 a.m.
Eastern Time: 12:00 p.m.
Greenwich Mean Time: 4:00 p.m.
See more time zones
Hawaii Time: 8:00 a.m.
Alaska Time: 10:00 a.m.
Pacific Time: 11:00 a.m.
Mountain Time: 12:00 p.m.
Central Time: 1:00 p.m.
Eastern Time: 2:00 p.m.
Greenwich Mean Time: 6:00 p.m.

See more time zones
Hawaii Time: 10:00 a.m.
Alaska Time: 12:00 p.m.
Pacific Time: 1:00 p.m.
Mountain Time: 2:00 p.m.
Central Time: 3:00 p.m.
Eastern Time: 4:00 p.m.
Greenwich Mean Time: 8:00 p.m.

See more time zones
Mon, May 11 Physics C: Mechanics Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism United States Government and Politics
Tues, May 12 Latin Calculus AB, Calculus BC Human Geography
Wed, May 13 Physics 2: Algebra-Based English Literature and Composition European History
Thurs, May 14 Spanish Literature and Culture Chemistry Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Fri, May 15 Art History United States History Computer Science A
Mon, May 18 Chinese Language and Culture Biology Environmental Science
Tues, May 19 Music Theory Psychology Japanese Language and Culture, Italian Language and Culture
Wed, May 20 German Language and Culture English Language and Composition Microeconomics
Thurs, May 21 French Language and Culture World History: Modern Macroeconomics
Fri, May 22 Comparative Government and Politics Statistics Spanish Language and Culture