The world of Advanced Placement (AP) exams is evolving, and one of the exciting developments is the recent introduction of digital AP exams. If you're planning to take an AP exam in May 2024, this might be a game-changer for you. Let's dive into how digital AP exams work and what you should keep in mind.
What AP exams are digital this year?
In May 2024, digital AP exam subjects will include:
- AP Computer Science Principles
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP English Literature and Composition
- AP European History
- AP Seminar
- AP U.S. History
- AP World History: Modern
- AP African American Studies (2023-24 pilot schools only)
How does a digital AP exam work?
The digital AP exam is meant to mirror the paper-based versions very closely in order to ensure a fair experience for students, regardless of which format they choose. For one, they will be administered in school, following the same scheduling as the paper-based exam. They will also have the same number and types of questions and identical time limits.
To take a digital AP exam, students use the Bluebook testing app, which is compatible with a range of devices, from Chromebooks, Windows and Mac laptops, to iPads. You can choose which device you're comfortable using, making it easier for you to take the test. You'll also still be able to use scratch paper to jot down notes or do calculations during the exam.
Bluebook has a variety of useful features, such as highlighting text and making annotations. You can also move back and forth between questions within the same section, just like flipping through pages in a book. However, you can’t revisit past sections once completed, just as in the paper exam. Importantly, If you have special testing accommodations, such as extra time or breaks, your school can help you set this up within the app.
What are the main advantages of AP digital exams?
Depending on what you’re like as a test-taker, digital AP exams might offer you several important benefits.
- They can be much more efficient. In some exams, such as AP European History or AP Literature and Composition, students often find themselves racing against the clock to write lengthy essays. However, in a digital exam, you have the ability to type out responses much more quickly. Plus, if you need to make changes, it's as simple as editing a document, which avoids the messiness of erasing, crossing things out, and rewriting.
- The digital exam format also increases inclusivity and accessibility. For example, students with disabilities who might be otherwise unable to travel and sit at other testing locations, or read small fonts on paper, can now be accommodated much more easily.
- It’s also great that digital exams avoid the massive amount of paper waste that is generated from testing booklets that are needed for traditional paper-based exams. Who wouldn’t want to go with the more eco-friendly choice?
What are the main disadvantages of AP digital exams?
As much as there are upsides to digital AP exams, there are also a few downsides to consider.
- One consideration when taking digital AP exams is the possibility of encountering technical difficulties. Whether you face poor internet connection or issues with your device, these types of problems can be stressful to navigate.
- Another disadvantage includes the extended screen time, given that you'll be looking at your computer for a few hours straight on exam days. If you’re someone who usually struggles with eye strains and headaches from screen time, digital formats can pose a challenge–especially if you have to take multiple AP exams in a single day.
Do you need to order AP digital exams?
As a student, you’ll be responsible for registering for your AP exams, whether they are digital or paper-based. This is typically done through your school's AP coordinator or guidance counselors. You can learn more here.
Are digital AP exams easier?
Whether or not digital AP exams are easier ultimately comes down to personal preferences. For example, some students might find it easier to take a digital exam in subjects that require extensive essay writing. However, the choice between digital and paper ultimately depends on your comfort and preferences. It's a good idea to try practice questions in both formats to figure out which suits you better.
Are digital AP exams taken at home?
No, digital AP exams are not taken at home. Instead, they will be conducted at your school to ensure a standardized and controlled testing environment for all participants.
Do AP digital exams require a camera?
No, AP digital exams no longer require a camera. Originally, the College Board stated that these exams would require both a camera and an ID, but this requirement was removed. Proctors will instead use the Test Day Toolkit web application to manage digital AP exams.
When do digital AP scores come out?
Digital AP scores are usually made available between April and July, depending on the type of test you took.
Are AP scores sent digitally?
Yes, your AP exam scores will be accessible online through the AP student website. In fact, score reports are no longer paper-mailed, and they will only be available online! To view them, simply log in to your College Board account using your username and password. Make sure you have either your AP number or the student ID you used on your answer sheet handy.
It’s also good to note that you have the option to digitally send your AP scores to colleges. Each year, you get one free score send to a college of your choice. Keep in mind that you have to make this decision before seeing your scores. If you want to send your report to more colleges, or if you miss the free send deadline, you can still do this through your College Board account online.
How to improve your digital AP scores
If you're looking to improve your digital AP scores, there are a few places to start:
1. Practice Exams: These are excellent tools to identify your strengths and areas that need improvement, allowing you to focus your study efforts effectively.
2. Review Official Resources: Familiarize yourself with the College Board's course and exam descriptions to understand the expected material and question types for your AP subject.
3. Connect with Ivy Tutors Network: At IVY, we will match you with the right AP tutor who aligns with your academic goals and can craft a custom study schedule. We strive to go beyond covering subject matter to also equip you with valuable test-taking strategies and techniques and boost your confidence.
Regardless of your stage in the test preparation process, Ivy Tutors Network is ready to assist you. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any inquiries or schedule a free consultation to start your path towards AP success!