For the first time ever, Advanced Placement (AP) exams will be offered as at-home exams online.
This year’s AP exams will be open book, meaning that students can refer to their materials, books, and notes while taking the test. Most of the exams have been re-designed to be 45 minutes long, featuring two or three free-response questions, and each question will be timed separately. Test-takers can either type and upload their answers using cellphone, computer, or tablet, or write responses by hand and submit a photo via their devices. An additional five minutes will be given for uploading answers.
“Open book exams are not easy,” the College Board reminded test-takers on the organization’s website. “Answering AP Exam questions takes more than copying information from notes. You should prepare for an open book exam just as you would a traditional AP Exam.”
The College Board added that they designed this year’s AP Exams knowing the students have access to all the notes and resources, therefore no points will be given for content that can be found online or in textbooks.
To protect the integrity of the exams, students will need to install plagiarism detection software on their devices. In addition, each student’s AP teacher will receive copies of the work the student submits, so that teachers can spot inconsistencies with students’ known work.
“For the small number of students who may try to gain an unfair advantage, we have a comprehensive and strict set of protocols in place to prevent and detect cheating,” the College Board said, adding that they are keeping some of those security measures confidential to maximize their effectiveness.
Each subject’s exam will take place at the same time worldwide from May 11 through May 22. Make-up exams will be given from June 1 through June 5.
The College Board said it will continue to provide AP students and teachers with more details about how to access the testing system, including video demonstrations so that students can familiarize themselves with the system before the test day.
AP exams traditionally cover a wide range of subjects from U.S. History to music theory, Spanish literature, and macroeconomics. High school students who take the exams need at least a score of 3, 4, and 5 to pass. Students can exchange the passing scores into college credits in corresponding subjects, and thus save on tuition.