AP Testing

 AP Testing & Instruction Frequently Asked Questions

for Students, Parents and Staff

Updated 4/14/2020


Question: How will FCPS students prepare to take the AP exam(s) this year?

Answer:  FCPS students are encouraged to use resources on the FCPS 24-7 Blackboard page and on the College Board’s YouTube channel to review. FCPS AP Teachers began direct instruction through distance learning on April 14, 2020. The College Board provided AP students with additional practice free-response questions (FRQs), available to all registered AP students, including students in exam-only sections. 


Question: How will FCPS AP teachers help students prepare for AP exams during distance learning?

Answer: AP teachers are providing opportunities for students to review for the AP exam, using both synchronous and asynchronous instructional approaches. In addition to teacher-created resources, teachers are able to make all Personal Progress Checks available on MyAP and set those to allow students to check their own progress. Also, teachers are able to assign practice timed FRQs, Topic Questions and Test Bank questions to cover material they want students to review to complement the College Board resources.


Reference AP Exam Schedule 2020 – AP Coronavirus Updates for answers to the following questions:

  • When will the AP exams for the 2019-2020 school year take place?
  • What are the 2020 AP exam formats?

Reference Taking AP Exams Online – AP Coronavirus Updates for answers to the following questions:

  • What technology is required to take online AP exams?
  • What happens if a student is unable to take the AP exam as scheduled May 11-May 22, 2020?
  • How will students access the new online AP test system?
  • How will students without access to technology take their AP exam(s)?
    • If needed, students should contact their school to determine how to access an FCPS laptop and/or MiFi device.
  • Where can students find tips on how to prepare for the online, open-book AP exams?

Reference AP Exam Security – AP Coronavirus Updates for answers to the following question:

  • How will the College Board ensure that 2020 AP exams are secure and fair to all students?


Reference the College Board’s FAQ for answers to the following questions:


  • Do students need a calculator to test?
  • If a student does not want to test this year, can they cancel at no charge?
  • What device should students test on?
  • Will students be able to test with approved accommodations?
  • What does it mean that this year’s AP Exams are open book/open note?
  • What open book/open note resources are allowed for AP subject exams?
  • When will I get information about how exams will work, so I can help prepare students for exam day?
  • Will colleges accept the AP exam score(s) for credit and placement?
  • When will exam scores be released?


Question: Is it necessary for students to make sure they are using a personal email in their College Board account?

Answer: Yes. It is important for students to ensure their email in their College Board account is a personal email (and not their @fcpsschools.net email) in order to continue to receive correspondence from the College Board regarding this year’s online exams and to receive correspondence from the College Board beyond high school.


Question: How can students update their email in their College Board account to delete an @fcpsschools.net email address and add a personal email address?

Answer: Students should change their email in their AP profile on their College Board account.


Question: How does a student indicate which university/college should receive their AP score(s)?

Answer: Seniors must indicate in their AP Profile on their College Board account the college/university where they want their cumulative AP scores sent by June 20, 2020. Seniors may send their AP score(s) to one university/college at no cost. Additional score reports can be requested through the College Board for a fee.


Question: What should students do about missing synchronous online distance learning instruction due to taking their AP exam(s)?

Answer: The AP Testing Coordinators will communicate the AP exam schedule to school staff so that teachers can allow flexibility for AP students who are testing. Students are encouraged to inform their teachers if they will miss online synchronous instruction. Synchronous classes will be recorded so that students can access and view at a later time to catch up on missed instruction.


Question: For the first time, AP teachers will receive their students’ 2020 AP exam responses (unscored) in late May.  As part of quarter 4 distance learning, can AP teachers evaluate and use a student’s exam response as demonstrated proficiency to positively influence the student’s final course grade?

Answer: Due to the uncertain timing of the arrival of students’ 2020 AP exam responses and inequities in access to the AP exam, it is not recommended teachers use a student’s exam response when considering the student’s final course grade. The College Board does not guarantee the arrival of exam responses prior to FCPS grading deadlines, especially deadlines for senior grades. Additionally, students may have opted out of the AP exam earlier in the year with the understanding that the AP exam could not impact their grade; for a variety of reasons, some students may decide not to take the online test; and some students may not be able to test until the June makeup window. 


AP Subject Specific Questions


Reference Course Specific Exam Information for answers to the following questions (click on AP subject and expand):

  • When are portfolios due for AP Computer Science Principles, AP Seminar and AP Art courses?
  • When is the due date for the AP Research Paper?
  • How will the AP Computer Science Principles score be computed?
  • How will the AP Capstone (Seminar and Research) scores be computed?

Question: Will Calculus BC students receive AB sub scores for the 2020 AP exam administration? Can students take both the Calculus AB and BC exams?

Answer: No, students who take the Calculus BC exam will not receive AB subscores due to the online exam format. Students may not take both the Calculus AB and BC exams in the 2020 AP exam administration. Students who would like to change their AP exam from Calculus BC to AB should reference the question below.


Question: A student is registered for an AP exam and wants to switch to take a different exam. Is switching AP exams allowed?

Answer:  For AP Calculus and AP Art students only, a registered student may request to switch from taking an Art and Design portfolio to another AP Art  or a registered student may switch from taking the AP Calculus BC to Calculus AB and vice versa at no charge. The change is only allowed in AP Calculus and AP Art. Students must notify their AP Testing Coordinator and ask them to process this change. The deadline to make this change is April 20, 2020.


Exam Registration, Cancellation and Refund Requests


Question: Are students allowed to register for an AP exam at this point in time? If a student in an AP course opted-out of the AP exam this fall, are they allowed to opt-in now?

Answer: No. AP exam ordering is closed for the 2019- 2020 school year.   


Question: How does a student cancel an AP exam if they do not wish to take an online exam?

Answer: We encourage all students to review the newly available resources from the College Board and FCPS prior to making a decision about whether or not to take an AP exam. No staff action is necessary to cancel an AP exam. If a student does not take the exam it is automatically cancelled.


Question: Can a current AP student choose not to take their exam this year and take the AP exam next year without penalty?

Answer: For the 2019-2020 school year, the student can choose not to take their exam without penalty. They can take the AP exam next year as a non-enrolled student and will be responsible for the $94 test fee.


Question: Will homeschool students, non-enrolled students, and students with AP exam counts over the six FCPS-funded exams who have paid the $94 AP exam fee and choose to not take their exam(s) be refunded the AP exam fee?

Answer: Yes. Contact your school’s AP testing coordinator to request a refund beginning June 8, 2020, after all AP exams have been administered.  


Question: Will refunds be processed for students who were assessed a $40 late order fee for ordering an AP exam after the November 15, 2019 deadline?

Answer: No. The College Board will assess the $40 late order exam fee if the student takes the exam during the 2020 testing window.  However, if the student decides to not take that exam, the late order fee will not be assessed.  If the parent/student already paid a late order fee for an AP exam not taken during the 2020 testing window, they should request a refund.

AP Exam Coordinators:

Jennifer Fargo, 703-488-6371, @email 

Nicole Shaw, 703-488-6373, @email