2021 AP Exam Dates

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It’s finally spring, which for many high schoolers means it’s time to take a look at the 2021 AP Exam dates and schedule. Due to coronavirus precautions, this spring’s AP Exams are a bit different than in years past. In 2021, there are three AP Exam administrations. Each administration provides different options for taking AP Exams online and in the traditional pencil-and-paper format.  

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We’ve provided a full list of 2021 AP Exam dates and the full 2021 AP Exam schedule below for your convenience. It’s up to your school, though, as to which AP Exam administrations are given at your school. The AP coordinators at your school and your AP class teachers will let you know what testing options are available to you.

2021 AP Exam Dates

There are three sets of AP Exam dates in 2021. Each of the three test administrations provides different opportunities for online and pencil-and-paper testing. Your school will communicate with you about your AP testing options. 

Administration 1: May 3–7, 10–12, 14, and 17

In School

Traditional, full-length paper and pencil exams, administered in school, for all subjects.

Administration 2: May 18–21, 24–28

In School and At Home

Half of the subjects are paper and pencil, administered in school, and half are full-length digital exams, administered in school or taken at home due to coronavirus precautions.

Administration 3: June 1–4, 7–11

In School and At Home

Most subjects are full-length digital exams only, administered in school or taken at home due to coronavirus precautions.

Information via the College Board

AP coordinators can choose a mix of at-home and in-person exams and mix 2021 AP Exam dates, so your school may pick more than one of the testing windows or modes. However, students cannot independently choose to stay home for digital AP testing.

2021 AP Exam Schedule

Below is the full 2021 AP Exam schedule for 2021. Administration 1 begins on May 3, and Administration 3 ends on June 11. Read through the list of 2021 AP Exam dates below to get an idea of when you may be taking your AP Exams this spring. 

Administration 1

WEEK 1: Paper, In School

 8:00 a.m. Local Time12:00 p.m. Local Time2:00 p.m. Local Time
Monday,
May 3, 2021
United States Government and PoliticsPhysics C: MechanicsPhysics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Tuesday,
May 4, 2021
Calculus AB

Calculus BC
German Language and Culture

Human Geography
 
Wednesday,
May 5, 2021
English Literature and CompositionJapanese Language and Culture (computer based)

Physics 1: Algebra-Based
 
Thursday,
May 6, 2021
United States HistoryArt History

Computer Science A
 
Friday,
May 7, 2021
Chemistry

Spanish Literature and Culture
European History

Physics 2: Algebra-Based
 

Administration 1

WEEK 2: Paper, In School

8:00 a.m. Local Time12:00 p.m. Local Time
Monday,
May 10, 2021
French Language and Culture

World History: Modern
Macroeconomics
Tuesday,
May 11, 2021
Seminar

Spanish Language and Culture
Latin
Psychology
Wednesday,
May 12, 2021
English Language and CompositionMicroeconomics

Music Theory
Thursday,
May 13, 2021*
NO EXAMS SCHEDULEDNO EXAMS SCHEDULED
Friday,
May 14, 2021
Biology

Italian Language and Culture
Chinese Language and Culture (computer based)

Environmental Science
Monday,
May 17, 2021*
Comparative Government and Politics

Computer Science Principles
Statistics
*Exams previously scheduled for Thursday, May 13, will now be given on Monday, May 17.

Administration 2

WEEK 1: Digital, In School and At Home

 11:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) (time varies by time zone)3:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) (time varies by time zone)
Tuesday,
May 18, 2021
English Literature and CompositionComputer Science A
Wednesday,
May 19, 2021
European History

United States History
Art History

Macroeconomics
Thursday,
May 20, 2021
United States Government and Politics

World History: Modern
Psychology

Administration 2

WEEK 1: Paper, In School


8:00 a.m. Local Time12:00 p.m. Local Time
Friday,
May 21, 2021
Italian Language and Culture

Japanese Language and Culture (computer based)

Latin

Spanish Language and Culture
Chinese Language and Culture (computer based)

French Language and Culture

German Language and Culture

Music Theory

Spanish Literature and Culture

Administration 2

WEEK 2: Paper, In School


8:00 a.m. Local Time12:00 p.m. Local Time
Monday,
May 24, 2021
Calculus AB

Calculus BC
Physics 1: Algebra-Based

Physics C: Mechanics
Tuesday,
May 25, 2021
Chemistry

Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Physics 2: Algebra-Based

Statistics

Administration 2

WEEK 2: Digital, In School and At Home


11:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) (time varies by time zone)3:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) (time varies by time zone)
Wednesday,
May 26, 2021
English Language and CompositionComputer Science Principles

Seminar
Thursday,
May 27, 2021
BiologyEnvironmental Science
Friday,
May 28, 2021
Comparative Government and Politics

Human Geography
Microeconomics

Administration 3

WEEK 1: Digital, In School and At Home

 11:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT)3:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT)
Tuesday,
June 1, 2021
English Literature and CompositionComputer Science A
Wednesday,
June 2, 2021
European History

United States History
Art History

Macroeconomics
Thursday,
June 3, 2021
United States Government and Politics

World History: Modern
Psychology

Administration 3

WEEK 1: Paper, In School

 8:00 a.m. Local Time12:00 p.m. Local Time
Friday,
June 4, 2021
Italian Language and Culture

Japanese Language and Culture (computer based)

Latin

Spanish Language and Culture
Chinese Language and Culture (computer based)

French Language and Culture

German Language and Culture

Music Theory

Spanish Literature and Culture

Administration 3

WEEK 2: Digital, In School and At Home

 11:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT)3:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT)
Monday,
June 7, 2021
English Language and CompositionComputer Science Principles

Seminar
Tuesday,
June 8, 2021
Comparative Government and Politics

Human Geography
Microeconomics
Wednesday,
June 9, 2021
Calculus AB

Calculus BC
Physics 1: Algebra-Based

Physics C: Mechanics
Thursday,
June 10, 2021
Chemistry

Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Physics 2: Algebra-Based

Statistics
Friday,
June 11, 2021
BiologyEnvironmental Science

Via AP Central

How to Prepare for the 2021 AP Exams

Much like preparing for the SAT or ACT test, preparing well for an AP Exam requires effective study habits. This means allowing yourself enough time to study the material, working to own difficult concepts, and practicing your timing and pacing.

#1 Allow enough time to study

The material you learn closest to the time of the test will be fresh in your mind, but you need time to review concepts you learned earlier in the school year. And because you want to avoid cramming (it’s stressful and not super effective), allow enough time to review older concepts. 

It’s likely your teacher will help you create a study schedule well before exam day to help you review these older concepts. But, If you need to create a schedule on your own, remember to mix up what units you study so you’re studying both new and old material each week. 

#2 Work to own difficult concepts

It’s tempting to focus on concepts you understand. But it’s vital that you tackle tricky concepts and work to own them. If you know you’ve learned even the tricky stuff, come test day you’ll be confident in your abilities and very likely do great on the AP Exam.  

#3 Practice timing and pacing

AP Exams are timed, so don’t forget to practice the material in a timed setting. This can be as simple as setting a timer while you do a practice exam. If you find yourself needing more time than is allowed, examine your pacing; where can you skip questions or work more quickly in order to finish the test?

#4 Attend an AP review session

The College Board is hosting live review sessions for many AP Exams April 19-29, 2021. You can watch these sessions on YouTube or in your online AP Classroom!

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FAQ’s

Can my school offer both online and pencil-and-paper exams?

Yes! Schools can choose exam administrations that work best for them, provided the school meets all requirements for each option. But remember, the school is making decisions about exam administrations, not individual students

Can students pick which 2021 AP Exam administration to take? 

No. Schools decide which AP Exam administrations to offer their students. Students cannot independently opt to stay home for at-home digital AP testing.

Are online AP Exams shorter?

Nope – online AP Exams are the same length as traditional paper and pencil AP Exams and include both multiple-choice and free-response questions.

How are online AP Exams different from pencil-and-paper AP Exams?

Online, digital AP Exams are designed to be as similar as possible to paper AP exams and assess the same course content. However, there will be some differences between the two types of tests due to limits on digital testing (for example, drawing a graph. On a digital test, a student would be asked to answer a question about a graph instead). Restrictions on going back to previous questions and synchronous start times across time zones are also key differences from paper and pencil exams.

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