Major Changes to the 2020 AP Exams

by | Mar 27, 2020

Important Changes to the 2020 AP Exams

Since many students are home for the foreseeable future or even out for the rest of the school year, the College Board has announced some major changes to the content and administration of the AP Exams for the 2020 dates. 

  • Tests will be taken at home.
  • Exams will be only 45 minutes.
  • There will be no multiple-choice questions; only free-response questions will be given.
  • Exams can be taken online or on paper and then uploaded.
  • Content covered after March will not be tested.
  • Colleges will accept these AP scores.
  • Two dates will be offered for each exam–one in May, one in June.

The College Board is offering two test dates, one in early May for students who feel prepared and a later (TBA) date for students who need more time to study. 

In addition, some topics—around 25% of some courses— are not going to be covered on the AP Exams this year. The full details of when the two test dates will be offered and more details regarding the format will be announced on April 3rd. 

However, the changes we believe will affect students most are the shortened format of the exam and the elimination of multiple-choice questions. Because the majority of students generally find the free-response questions to be more difficult than the multiple-choice questions, we are adjusting our Fusion courses accordingly to provide students with more practice and guidance on how to approach these questions.

The following table gives the details of which units will be covered on the AP exam. For further information about what topics are covered in each unit, see collegeboard.org.

AP SubjectExam question(s) will only cover:Exam question(s) will NOT cover:Exam question type(s)Exam Date #1Exam Date #2
Art and Design: 2D PortfolioN/AN/ASelected Works: 3 works required (instead of 5) to be submitted digitally + Sustained Investigation: 10 images required (instead of 15), also submitted digitallyPortfolio due date extended for all students to May 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Art and Design: 3D PortfolioN/AN/ASelected Works: 3 works required (instead of 5) to be submitted digitally + Sustained Investigation: 10 images required (instead of 15), also submitted digitallyPortfolio due date extended for all students to May 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Art and Design: DrawingN/AN/ASelected Works: 3 works required (instead of 5) to be submitted digitally + Sustained Investigation: 10 images required (instead of 15), also submitted digitallyPortfolio due date extended for all students to May 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Art HistoryUnits 1-6Units 7-10***
BiologyUnits 1-6Units 7-8***
Calculus ABUnits 1-7Unit 8***
Calculus BC**Units 1-8 + 5 topics in Unit 10 (10.2, 10.5, 10.7, 10.8, and 10.11)Unit 9, Unit 10 (except Topics 10.2, 10.5, 10.7, 10.8, and 10.11)***
ChemistryUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
Chinese Language and CultureUnits 1-4Units 5-6***
Computer Science AUnits 1-7Units 8-10***
Computer Science PrinciplesNo end-of-course examNo end-of-course examExplore Task + Create Task only; no multiple-choice examDigital Portfolio due date extended for all students to May 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Economics – MacroUnits 1-5Unit 6***
Economics – MicroUnits 1-5Unit 6***
English Language and CompositionUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
English Literature and CompositionUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
Environmental ScienceUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
European HistoryUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
French Language and CultureUnits 1-4Units 5-6***
German Language and CultureUnits 1-4Units 5-6***
Government and Politics: ComparativeUnits 1-3Units 4-5***
Government and Politics: U.S.Units 1-3Units 4-5***
Human GeographyUnits 1-5Units 6-7***
Italian Language and CultureUnits 1-4Units 5-6***
Japanese Language and CultureUnits 1-4Units 5-6***
LatinUnits 1-4Units 5-8***
Music Theory**Units 1-6Units 7-8***
Physics 1Units 1-7Units 8-10***
Physics 2Units 1-5Units 6-7***
Physics C: Electricity and MagnetismUnits 1-3Units 4-5***
Physics C: MechanicsUnits 1-5Units 6-7***
PsychologyUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
ResearchN/AN/AAcademic Paper only (no presentation)Digital Portfolio due date extended for all students to May 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET
SeminarNo end-of-course examNo end-of-course examIndividual Research Report + Individual Written Argument only (no team or individual presentations or end-of-course exam)Digital Portfolio due date extended for all students to May 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Spanish Language and CultureUnits 1-4Units 5-6***
Spanish Literature and CultureUnits 1-6Units 7-8***
StatisticsUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
U.S. HistoryUnits 1-7Units 8-9***
World HistoryUnits 1-6Units 7-9***

We know that this is a stressful time and that many families are unsure of what the best course of action is to take. That?s why we?re here for you every step of the way! We are still open (online) and staying up to date with changes from the College Board and other educational organizations so that we can best meet our students? needs. If you have any questions, please contact our CV office at (858) 436-7220, our 4S office at (858) 521-8181, or email us anytime at info@hamiltoneducation.com.