AP Testing: Moving Forward with Uncertainty

Everything you need to know about changes to AP tests in May.

2020 AP Tests have been shortened in light of school closures.

2020 AP Tests have been shortened in light of school closures.

Truthfully, this article should be titled: “High School in 2020: Moving Forward with Uncertainty.” With so many cancellations, postponements, and quarantines, it is difficult to predict the course of the rest of the year at both Academic Magnet and abroad. One thing on everyone’s mind? Standardized testing.

Online classes can be easy enough to administer when it comes to small assignments and an honor code to bind students to academic integrity. National tests are different, however. SATs, ACTs, and AP tests play a pivotal role in college admissions and future studies. Whereas the goal has always been to comprehensively assess students on their knowledge, this could all be compromised due to school closures. In many cases, students are not getting adequate instruction, so it is difficult to standardize a test for thousands of high schoolers, each with different, current academic circumstances. The College Board has taken careful note of these standards, and recently released their plan for the 2020 Advanced Placement Exams in May.

Here are the changes:

  1. Face-to-face exams will not take place. Instead, students will take 45 minute, online tests from home.
  2. For each AP subject, students may choose between two testing dates to take their exam.
  3. To be fair to all students (since school closures occurred at different times around the country), tests will only include material commonly studied by early March. More details to come on this.
  4. Student AP Exams will be accessible via laptop, tablet, or cellphone. Provision of photos of handwritten work will be an option as well.

Specific changes to exams applicable for AMHS:

AP Biology: Units 7-8 excluded from the exam.

Calculus AB: Unit 8 excluded from the exam.

Calculus BC: Unit 9, Unit 10 (except Topics 10.2, 10.5, 10.7, 10.8, and 10.11) are excluded.

Computer Science A: Units 8-10 excluded from the exam.

AP Macroeconomics: Unit 6 excluded from the exam.

AP Lang: Units 8-9 excluded. More details to come regarding free response essays.

AP Lit: Units 8-9 excluded. More details to come regarding free response essays.

AP Environmental Science: Units 8-9 excluded from the exam.

AP European History: Units 8-9 excluded from the exam.

AP French: Units 5-6 excluded.

AP Government: Units 4-5 excluded.

AP Human Geography: Units 6-7 excluded.

AP Music Theory: Units 7-8 excluded. More details to come regarding the exam administration.

AP Physics 1: Units 8-10 excluded.

AP Physics C (E&M): Units 4-5 excluded.

AP Psychology: Units 8-9 excluded.

AP Seminar: No end of course exam. Only IRR and IWA to be submitted (No IMP or TMP). Deadline for papers extended to 5/26.

AP Research: Academic paper submission only. No oral defense. Deadline for paper has been extended to May 26.

AP Spanish Language: Units 5-6 excluded.

AP Statistics: Units 8-9 excluded.

AP U.S. History: Units 8-9 excluded.

AP World History: Units 7-9 excluded.

** Please note that more information will be released by April 3rd. Please stay updated by using the following link:


With regards to cheating (a definite concern), the College Board made a very vague statement, mentioning that: “The exam questions are designed and administered in ways that prevent cheating; we use a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams.”

It is also important to note that any student already registered for an exam may cancel at no charge.