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Exam News

Your Guide to the 2021 AP® Exam Administrations

23 min readapril 3, 2021


Taking an AP® exam in the middle of a pandemic probably wasn't how you envisioned the end of this year...But don't worry! At Fiveable, we've been working hard to make sure that you have what you need in order to be successful irregardless of global calamity. In this guide, you will find the most up-to-date news on this year’s AP exams, as well as tools that Fiveable will provide to help you through it. Create a Fiveable account to stay informed about exam season!
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Breathe. You’ve got this. From giphy.com

Latest news from the College Board

Here is what we know so far about the 2021 AP® Exams:
  1. 🖊️ Each exam will be full length. Unlike last year, the 2021 AP Exams will cover every unit and will feature every type of FRQ, just like they normally do!
  2. 🏫 Exams will be taken in person, but an at-home online test will be available if school closures due to COVID make it impossible to take the in-person test. This decision will be made at a local level, authorized by your AP Coordinator.
  3. 👀 There will be 3 testing windows (called administrations). There will be 3 different times when exams are offered through May and early June. The first window will only include traditional, in-person administration of exams. The second and third windows will have in-person and online options. Know your exam dates! View the full schedule here.
  4. 🏫 Schools will pick their windows. The AP coordinator will be the decision maker, students will not get to pick their own test dates. Schools can choose to offer exams in as many of the windows as they would like and for any reason. Schools will assign students in March.
  5. ⏰ Deadline extended for AP Art & Design, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Seminar, and AP Research. The performance task deadlines for these exams has been extended to May 20, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EDT.
  6. 📈 Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, and Statistics are offered solely as in-person exams in both Administration 1 and 2. The free response questions for these exams require complex symbols that aren't easy to type, so these exams will only be in person during the first two windows. There will be a full-length online option available during administration 3 with few differences, but the best practice remains past AP multiple choice and free response questions.
  7. 🚫 No digital versions of French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture; Latin; Music Theory; and Spanish Literature and Culture. Easy access to translation and musical instrument apps just don't allow for secure or fair online exams in these subjects. They will only have in-person options available in all three administrations
  8. 📖Will the exams be open book? Last year, the at-home exams were open book. This year, there are a lot more situations for College Board to cover. Textbooks and notes aren't allowed for any exams administered in school, regardless of whether they are on paper or digital. If you are taking your exam outside of school, as in at-home, it will most likely be open book, although tread carefully because College Board can detect cheating! The AP Digital Testing Guide released at the beginning of March says that,
  9. "We understand students taking digital exams at home may have access to these materials [referring to textbooks and notes]. To prevent students from gaining an unfair advantage, digital exams will:
    -Not include questions that can be answered with internet searches, textbooks, notes, study guides, or similar material
    -Be reviewed with plagiarism detection software
    -Be reviewed with post-exam analyses to identify collaboration or use of unauthorized aids"

The 2021 AP® Exam schedule

Below is the exam schedule of dates for each of the 3 administrations of AP exams this year. All times are in your local time zone.

Administration 1: On Paper, in School 📝

Week 1

DatesTimeExam
Monday, 5/38amAP Government & Politics
Monday, 5/312pmAP Physics C: Mechanics
Monday, 5/32pmAP Physics C: E & M
Tuesday, 5/48amAP Calculus AB
Tuesday, 5/48amAP Calculus BC
Tuesday, 5/412pmAP German Language and Culture
Tuesday, 5/412pmAP Human Geography
Wednesday, 5/58amAP English Literature & Composition
Wednesday, 5/512pmAP Japanese Language and Culture
Wednesday, 5/512pmAP Physics 1
Thursday, 5/68amAP US History
Thursday, 5/612pmAP Art History
Thursday, 5/6 12pmAP Computer Science A
Friday, 5/78amAP Chemistry
Friday, 5/78amAP Spanish Literature
Friday, 5/712pmAP European History
Friday, 5/712pmAP Physics 2

Week 2

DatesTimeExam
Monday, 5/108amAP French Language and Culture
Monday, 5/108amAP World History: Modern
Monday, 5/1012pmAP Macroeconomics
Tuesday, 5/118amAP Seminar
Tuesday, 5/118amAP Spanish Language & Culture
Tuesday, 5/1112pmAP Latin
Tuesday, 5/1112pmAP Psychology
Wednesday, 5/128amAP English Language & Composition
Wednesday, 5/1212pmAP Microeconomics
Wednesday, 5/1212pmAP Music Theory
Thursday, 5/13No Exams Scheduled(Rescheduled for Monday, 5/17)
Friday, 5/148amAP Biology
Friday, 5/148amAP Italian Language & Culture
Friday, 5/1412pmAP Chinese Language & Culture
Friday, 5/1412pmAP Environmental Science

Week 3

DatesTimeExam
Monday, 5/178amAP Comparative Government & Politics
Monday, 5/178amAP Computer Science Principles
Monday, 5/1712pmAP Statistics

Administration 2: Digital exams, in School and at Home 💻

The second administration will take place between the dates May 18 and May 28. You can view the full schedule here once more but here is a quick summary:
  • Week 1 includes all three modes of testing. Humanities and social science examinations take place at the beginning of this week digitally, along with Art History and Computer Science A. On Friday, May 21, the AP Music Theory examination and the language exams will take place in-person only.
  • Week 2 includes mathematics and science examinations solely on paper and other modes of testing later in the week.

Administration 3: Digital exams, in School and at Home 💻

The third and final administration will take place between the dates of June 1 and June 11. The schedule is similar to week 2, but be sure to check out the link above to see when your examination will take place.
Be aware that AP Coordinators are the only ones who can decide when your exam is! They will let you know in March when you are going to be taking your exam.

What you can expect from Fiveable

We are here with you every step of the way. Check out the subjects below for more specific information on what to expect for each of the 2021 AP exams. As always, check out our massive library of free resources on every AP subject. We’ve got study guides, review streams, and trivia games to help you triumph over your AP exams. Join our Discord channel to get subject-specific support from fellow peers, as well as chat with other students who share similar interests. There are thousands of AP students waiting to meet you! 🙏
Here is what you can expect from Cram season this year:
  • 🌶 Cram sessions that cover every unit and question type, led by our AP teachers who know how to crush it. New to Fiveable? Use discount code "tryfive" to get your ticket to 1 free AP® livestream cram session for any stream this month!
  • 🔥 An active Discord community filled with student leaders to answer your most burning questions
  • 📝 Free response question feedback from a real AP Reader (the same folks who grade the exam!)
  • 🧠 Cram Finales for every subject: a 5 hour live stream built to support you the day before each of your AP exams
  • 🏆 Live trivia events where you can play for a chance to win real prizes
  • 💅 Live streams and Discord chats on self-care and study skills dedicated to keeping you motivated and stress-free during exam season.
Create an account now to stay updated on all things AP exams! And remember, you are more than your test scores!

Study Guides & Exam Resources

🧪 AP Chemistry

The magic of the physical world! Explore AP Chemistry with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Chem's Teacher Wes Winter and TA Dalia, who also holds frequent office hours in Discord!
  • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Chemistry Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!

♻️ AP Environmental Science

It's more important than ever to study and understand our environment! Explore AP Environmental Science with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Environmental Science's teacher Jenni MacLean and TA Mariem!

🧬 AP Biology

A deep dive into how life on Earth originated, adapted, and flourished! Explore AP Biology with a community of peers as well as stellar teachers and a TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Bio's Teachers Jessica Nadzam and Kari Parnin as well as the TA Jed!
  • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Biology Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
  • Download the AP Biology Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

🎡 AP Physics 1

AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based physics course that explores the nature and properties of matter and energy. Explore this subject with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Physics 1 Teacher & Reader Christian and TA Briana!

🧲 AP Physics 2 

Explore AP Physics 2 with a community of peers! Dive into the nature and properties of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity & magnetism, and much more. 
  • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram reviews, trivia events, and other live events happening on Fiveable and in Discord.
  • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Physics 2 Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
  • 💡 AP Physics C: E&M

    Explore the nature and properties of electricity and magnetism. Explore AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Physics C: E&M's teacher Peter Apps and TA Daniella!

    ⚙️ AP Physics C: Mechanics

    Understand the mechanics of the world. Explore AP Physics C: Mechanics with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about teacher Sam Reich and TA Kristen!

    ♾️ AP Calculus AB

    Oh, the complexity of derivatives! Explore AP Calculus AB with a community of your peers as well as stellar teachers and a TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Calculus AB's teachers Meghan Dwyer and Jamil Siddiqui and TA JP!

    🧮 AP Calculus BC

    Oh, the complexity of derivatives! Explore AP Calculus BC with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Calculus BC's teacher Elizabeth Kohne and TA Pooja!

    📊 AP Statistics

    An introduction to how data can be collected, analyzed, and used to draw conclusions. Explore AP Statistics with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Statistics teacher Josh Argo and TA Sander!

    ⌨️ AP Computer Science Principles

    Learn the principles of computer science and solve problems through algorithms and programs. Explore AP Computer Science Principles with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Computer Science Principles' teacher Marcy Boyd and TA Rachel!

    💻 AP Computer Science A

    Develop your computer science skills and solve problems through Java Programming. Explore AP Computer Science A with a community of your peers as well as stellar teachers and a TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Computer Science A's teachers, Takeisha Moranza and Marcy Boyd, and our TA, Tejas!
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters and other free events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Computer Science A Exam Guide has you covered! It will provide a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!

    🌍 AP World History

    Humans have developed complex systems over the last 100k years, but WHAP is a deep dive into the politics, economics, and cultures of only the last 800 years. Explore AP World History with a community of your peers as well as stellar teachers and a TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP World History's teachers, Melissa Longnecker and Eric Beckman, and TA Natalie!

    🇪🇺 AP European History

    The curriculum? 500 years of European culture, politics, and society. Explore AP European History with a community of your peers as well as stellar teachers and a TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about our AP European History teachers, Steven Kucklick and Eric Beckman, and TA Charly!

    🇺🇸 AP US History

    The 2021 AP US History exam spans c. 1491 CE to the present covering roughly 500 years of American society, politics, and culture. Explore AP US History with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP US History's teacher Caleb Lagerway and TA Thomasina!

    🏛️ AP US Government

    From the foundations of American democracy to today, the institutions and processes set forth in the Constitution have continuously been tested as Americans adapted to new challenges. Explore AP US Government and Politics with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP US Gov's teacher Katy Soong and TA Amrita!
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP US Gov Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
    • Download the AP US Gov Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    🗳️ AP Comparative Government

    By analyzing the political structures of China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom, you develop your understanding of how different types of governments function. Explore AP Comparative Government with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Comparative Government's teacher Sean Jacobsen and TA Anaya!

    🚜 AP Human Geography

    AP Human Geography explores how people have shaped the Earth to build an understanding of the present and plan for the future. Explore AP HuG with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP HuG's teacher Erica Restum and TA Harrison!

    🤑 AP Macroeconomics 

    Learn the fundamentals of the economic system on a macro-scale and apply this knowledge to understand economic measurements, policies, markets, and models. Explore AP Macro with a community of your peers as well as stellar teachers and a TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about our AP Macro teachers, Maria Guerra and Dr. Hope Myers, and TA Rupi!

    💵 AP Microeconomics

    Learn the principles and models that can be applied to describe economic situations and make effective economic decisions. Explore AP Microeconomics with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Micro's teacher Dr. Hope Myers and TA Shriya!

    🧠 AP Psychology

    Psychologists explore biological, cognitive, and cultural factors to explain human behavior and development. Explore AP Psychology with a community of your peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Psych's teacher John Mohl and TA Layna!
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Psych exam guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
    • Download the AP Psych Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    ✍🏽 AP English Language

    Learn about the structures and functions of the English Language and how to analyze the choices that every author makes. Explore AP English Language with a community of your peers as well as stellar teachers and a TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP English Lang's teachers Stephanie Kirk and Kevin Steinhauser and TA Brandon!

    📚 AP English Literature

    The wonderful world of literary analysis. Explore AP English Literature with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Chem's teacher Kevin Coughlin and TA Gayatri!

    🇨🇳 AP Chinese 

    Learn how to effectively read, write, and communicate in Mandarin Chinese and explore Chinese culture. Explore AP Chinese with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Chinese's teacher Angela Hung and TA Emily Guo!
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language practice sessions and other free events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Chinese Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
    • Download the AP Chinese Cram Chart - PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    🇫🇷 AP French

    Learn how to effectively read, write, and communicate in French and explore French culture. Explore AP French with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher and TA. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP French's teacher Rodrigue Yonga and TA Haseung!
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language cluster practice sessions, and other events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP French Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
    • Download the AP French Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    🇮🇹 AP Italian

    Explore AP Italian with a community of peers! Learn how to effectively read, write, and communicate in Italian and explore Italian culture.
  • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language cluster practice sessions, and other events.
  • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Italian Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
  • Download the AP Italian Cram Chart - PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!
  • 🇩🇪 AP German

    Explore AP German with a community of peers! Learn how to effectively read, write, and communicate in German and explore German culture.
  • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language cluster practice sessions and other live events.
  • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP German Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
  • 🇯🇵 AP Japanese

    Explore AP Japanese with a community of peers! Learn how to effectively read, write, and communicate in Japanese and explore Japanese culture.
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters, and other free events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Japanese Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
    • Download the AP Japanese Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    🏛 AP Latin

    Explore AP Latin with a community of peers! Learn how to effectively read, understand, and translate Latin prose and poetry.
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters, and other free events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Latin Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
    • Download the AP Latin Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    🇪🇸 AP Spanish Language

    Learn how to effectively read, write, and communicate in Spanish and explore Spanish culture. Explore AP Spanish Language with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Spanish Lang's teacher Brittany Schwikert!
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters and other free events.

    💃🏽 AP Spanish Literature

    Dive into works of Spanish literature and gain a deeper understanding of the Spanish language and culture. Explore AP Spanish Literature with a community of peers as well as a stellar teacher. Check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Spanish Lang's teacher Jose Villanueva!
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters, and other free events.

    🎶 AP Music Theory 

    Develop your understanding of music theory, learn to read music notes, and perform! Explore AP Music Theory with a community of peers, and check out our live cram events where you can also learn more about AP Music Theory's TA Lily!
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, TA office hours, and other events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Music Theory Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with resources!
    • Download the AP Music Theory Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    🖼 AP Art History

    Explore AP Art History with a community of peers! Learn how to analyze works of art throughout history and gain a deeper understanding of the processes, materials, and techniques in art.

    🎨 AP Art & Design

    Explore AP Art & Design with a community of peers! Learn artistic techniques and skills and express your creativity through your art.
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters, and other free events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Art & Design Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!

    🔍 AP Research

    Explore AP Research with a community of peers! Develop critical thinking and research skills and explore a topic that captivates your interest.
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters, and other free events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Research Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!
    • Download the AP Research Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know!

    💬 AP Seminar

    Explore AP Seminar with a community of peers! Develop critical thinking and research skills to explore real-world issues.
    • We put together this cram calendar for you that shows all upcoming cram and trivia events, language clusters, and other free events.
    • Not sure where to start studying for your exam? This 2021 AP Seminar Exam Guide has you covered! It provides a breakdown of the exam, unit by unit, with helpful resources!

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