What to Expect for the 2021 AP Exams

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AP courses are invaluable opportunities for high school students to challenge themselves and potentially get college credit. However, like birthday parties, sporting events, and day-to-day life as we know it, AP exams are going to look a little different this year. Whether you’re relying on classroom instruction, tutoring services, or independent study to prepare, the first step is understanding exactly what to expect!


How Will the AP Exams Be Given?

This year, students will have the opportunity to take their AP exams either in person, just like in past years, or digitally. According to the College Board, “rather than offering a single testing approach that would serve only some students and educators well, we are offering a variety of testing options that reflect the unique characteristics of each exam and the preferences we’ve heard from AP teachers, coordinators, and school leaders.”

The traditional in-person exams will be administered at school, while the full-length digital exams can be taken in school or at home, depending on the circumstances and precautions in different areas. Additionally, because students may not be able to prepare as thoroughly as they’d like (and because life, in general, is chaotic right now), the College Board has completely waived all cancellation fees. Decide at the last minute you just aren’t ready? No problem.


When Will the AP Exams Be Given?

There will be three testing dates for each subject between early May and mid-June.

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Check out the full exam schedule here.

Per the official College Board site, “Schools don’t need to pick just one of the testing windows or modes. AP coordinators can authorize a mix of at-home and in-person exams and mix testing dates, as needed.” In other words, the AP coordinator at your specific school can basically play around with the dates and formats depending on both the classroom schedule and precautionary measures in place. (And, with some help from our tutoring services, you’ll be ready to tackle the exam whenever and however you choose to take it.)


Preparing for the Exams

Obviously, many students have had their schoolwork interrupted this year in one way or another. Every AP exam, whether you’re taking it in-person or digitally, will cover all course content. Unfortunately, with delayed starts and hybrid schedules and other strange pandemic things, not every class will have covered all course content.

This is one reason why the three different administrations are so helpful; if your class is behind or you want time to work with tutoring services, you can sign up for the latest testing date. If there’s simply no way you’ll be thoroughly prepared to take an AP exam – well, don’t sweat it. You can skip the exam, or take it and just don’t submit a low score to colleges.

To make sure you’re giving the exam your absolute best shot, there are a few different ways to prepare. First and foremost, simply keeping up with your reading and homework in your AP classes is key! By bringing your a-game to class, using tutoring services and additional AP resources will be the cherry on top. Further great ways to prepare include:


  • Working with one of the Enrichery’s academic coaches

One of the best ways to prepare for your AP exam is enlisting an expert via tutoring services. You’ll meet one-on-one with a coach for two-hour sessions two to four times a week to master AP course content. Not only will you be ready to dominate your AP exam, students using Enrichery tutoring services average a seven-point improvement in said subject after two months of coaching!


  • Using the AP Pacing Guides & watching the AP Daily videos

If you’re feeling underprepared, the AP pacing guides will be a huge help. The guides will walk you through different topics each day, supplementing with AP Daily videos and topic questions via your AP account. By following this guide independently or in tutoring services, you’ll be exposed to all of the concepts you’ll see on the exam. (Note that the pacing guides began at the start of 2021, so you’ll need to play catch-up!)


AP exams can be daunting, and it doesn’t help that there have been so many academic disruptions this school year. Take the guesswork out of your AP exam preparation (and add a little accountability, too!) through tutoring services. Fill out our Schedule a Session form and let us know which AP exam you want help with, and we’ll match you with the best coach for you. We’ll give you a call to get you scheduled within the day, and you’re on your way to an AP exam score you’ll be proud of!