AP Exams are standardized tests taken as the culmination of an AP Course, though it is possible for students to self-study for AP Exams as well. AP Courses are designed to be equal to introductory level college courses, and students can often earn college credit or course placement for qualifying AP Exam scores.
As with so much in the past year, there are some changes to the AP Exam format from normal practice, and even from 2020’s changed format. See below for more information and contact us with any questions!
In School or At Home, Full Format
This year, College Board is giving high schools the option to administer AP Exams either in school or remotely at home. The decision of what option(s) will be available to your student is at the discretion of their school. View the full AP Exam schedule at this link.
Last year, College Board’s remote AP Exams were given in a shortened format, including only free response questions. This year’s AP Exams will be full format, including multiple choice for some subjects.
There are some format differences between digital and paper exam formats this year. For instance, the paper AP Biology exam asks students to draw or graph as part of some free response questions, but the digital exams will assess those skills with questions about provided graphs and other materials instead.
Note that some AP Exams, such as the AP Music Theory and all World Languages and Cultures exams, will be administered in schools only, with no virtual option.
Click here to read about the format of each AP Exam, including any differences between digital and paper formats.
Why Do Well on AP Exams?
AP Exams’ primary benefit comes in the form of college credit. Students can earn college credit for qualifying AP scores–and therefore save on college tuition charged per credit. Colleges grant credit for AP Exams at their own discretion, and they each have their own policies, but it is possible for a college to grant credit for any score between 3 (minimum passing) and 5 (perfect score).
Another common use for AP Exam scores is placement. For example, a university may not grant credit for AP French, but that same university may allow you to skip the first two levels of their French language sequence with a qualifying AP French score.
Finally, AP Exam scores can have a positive impact on your college applications. They are not required at any school, but they can work in your favor. For example, if your student took AP Chemistry with a notoriously difficult teacher (that teacher who gives everyone a B) and didn’t earn the A they may feel they deserved, scoring a 5 on the AP Chemistry Exam would demonstrate to an admissions committee that, despite the B, your student mastered the material on a college-equivalent level.
How to Prepare for AP Exams
Most AP Exams require two things: content expertise and mastery of the exam format.
Please contact us to discuss a plan for your student’s AP preparation based on their performance this year and their college goals. We will work with you to form an ideal plan and timeline to maximize success, whether your student needs help with the subject material or just becoming an expert at the test itself.