The New AP Exams and College Admissions

by | Apr 8, 2020

With the modified and shortened format of the AP exams this year (45 minutes versus 90 or 180 minutes of regular tests), many students and parents have been wondering how it will affect college admissions next year. To help you out, we at Hamilton Education have listed our responses to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

  • Will I still get college credit for AP scores?

The good news is that the College Board has announced that AP scores will be accepted by all colleges that have accepted them in the past. While this format is different from the standard format, the College Board has given a modified version of AP tests to students affected by natural disasters in the past, and colleges and universities have accepted those scores. In addition, the UC system has reaffirmed it will be accepting AP scores next year.

  • What if I don’t feel up to taking/can’t take the test in May?

If you’re worried about taking the AP exam because your school has been closed for weeks,  the College Board has declared that only material typically covered up until March will be on the exam. So you don’t have to worry about learning any material on your own! In addition, the test dates have been pushed back 1-2 weeks to allow more time for review. The College Board also is offering a makeup test date in early June if you still need more time, though they advise planning for taking the test in May and using the June date as a backup in case you run into technical issues in taking your exam. For students who still want to cancel, the College Board has waived penalties for cancellations and will provide a full refund. 

*Note for AP Calculus BC students only: You can contact your AP coordinator to switch to the Calculus AB test.

  • If tests are at-home, how will they prevent cheating?

This year, the College Board has made all of the AP tests open-book and open-notes. This means that the questions will not test regurgitated facts or Googleable info but instead emphasize concepts and application. Strict anti-cheating procedures will be in place though to prevent students from communicating with each other. The College Board will be monitoring social media and popular forums for unauthorized sharing of information and will send the students’ exams to their teachers to check handwriting and verify that the work belongs to that student. In addition, if a student is found to have cheated, the College Board will notify colleges and possibly ban the student from taking future SAT or AP exams. And if all of that isn’t enough, they have also stated there will be other secret measures to verify the identity of the exam-taker.

  • How can I get help to prepare for the exams?

We’ve been monitoring the changes to the AP exams and adjusting the content of our Fusion classes to reflect them. In addition, we have many professional, knowledgeable tutors who can provide individual tutoring to students who want a bit more personalized assistance. And of course, all of our programs are available online to meet our students’ needs safely and effectively!