2021 AP Exam Schedule

Daniela Lastras-Castrejon, Writer

Last year, the College Board (an American not-for-profit organization that develops and administers AP and SAT exams) decided to create 45-minute exams in place of the usual 3-hour exams due to the pandemic. This year, the College Board has decided to provide the normal 3-hour long exams throughout three administrations, which include both online and in-school options. More specifically, the 1st administration provides only in-school exam dates, the 2nd administration provides in-school and online exam dates, and the 3rd administration provides mostly online exam dates. However, the 3rd administration is only for makeup exams if a student has a valid reason to miss the first two. With this new format to the AP Exams, some may wonder about which administration to take and whether to take the exam online or in person. 

At Hendrick Hudson High School, the choice of exam administration was determined individually in each class, taking into consideration what the majority of students and teachers preferred. For example, the AP Calculus AB exam will take place during the 2nd administration, and the AP English Literature and Composition exam will take place during the 1st administration. Likewise, the choice of whether the test should be administered in person or online was decided in a similar way. It is also important to note that students who do not want to take the AP Exam in person like the rest of their peers, are unable to take them online. However, all AP Exams administered in person will have students’ temperatures taken upon entering the building and the students must be wearing a face mask. In addition to this, AP Exams with a larger number of students will be administered in the dome and all students will be seated 6 feet apart.

Online exams were created in a way that limits the chances of cheating/plagiarism, so the online exams will not include questions that can be answered with internet searches. In addition to this, the exam will include security features to prevent students from collaborating or attempting to have someone else test for them, and the exam will be reviewed with plagiarism detection software. Other things to consider are that the online exams will not allow students to return to answered questions or move back-and-forth between unanswered questions, and students taking  online exams in school will not be allowed to bring textbooks or notes. 

Because of the new format of online exams this year and the pandemic’s effect on this year’s teaching style, some students may feel more stressed about this year’s AP Exams than normal. This is true for one of Hendrick Hudson’s high school juniors, Sophia Sklar, who is not confident and “pretty scared” about the AP Exams “because the [online] teaching style of this year is completely different,” and yet she has to take some AP’s in-person, which will be administered as they normally would. 

The best advice regardless of whether you are taking an exam online or in person is to study! Even with an option to have notes open during an online exam, notes are not always useful. Good luck and study study study!