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Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

The information below and more can be found on the AP CollegeBoard web page.

About the ExamsTop of Page

AP Exams are your opportunity to show what you know and what you can do.

Taken each May by students all over the world, the AP Exam is the final step you take after a year of hard work in an AP class. These standardized exams are designed to measure how well you’ve mastered the content and skills of the course — a successful score could even earn you credit and advanced placement in college.


AP Exams 101

Each of the 38 exams has its own unique requirements; however, almost all the exams have several things in common:

  • Most exams are two to three hours long. Be prepared to tackle a challenging exam with limited breaks. Eat a good breakfast and, if you're taking more than one exam on the same day, pack lunch and snacks to keep you going.
  • The first part of the exam usually consists of multiple-choice questions. You will choose one of four or five answer choices for each question and use a pencil to bubble in your choice on your AP answer sheet. Your total exam score on the multiple-choice section is based only on the number of questions answered correctly. You won’t receive or lose points for incorrect answers or unanswered questions.
  • The second part of the exam usually consists of free-response questions that require you to generate your own responses. Depending on the exam, your responses could be in the form of an essay, a solution to a problem, or a spoken response. In most cases, you’ll be writing your response in pen in the free-response exam booklet.

Not Just Paper and Pencil

Not all AP Exams are pencil and paper exams. AP Chinese Language and Culture and AP Japanese Language and Culture Exams are CD-based and taken on computer. AP Studio Art students submit portfolios of their work for review.


Preparing for the Exams

Your AP teacher will go over the exam format with you in class. You can get detailed information about each exam at the AP Courses page. You can view sample questions from actual exams using the Exam Practice.


Exam PoliciesTop of Page

AP Exam policies keep your test experience fair and secure.

Agreeing to Exam Security Policy and Procedures

All AP students deserve a fair and uniform testing experience, whether they are taking the exam in Connecticut, California, or China.

To help make this happen, the AP Program requires every AP student to read, agree to, and follow the “Test Security and Test Administration Policies and Procedures” that appear each year in the Bulletin for AP Students and Parents.

On exam day, before you can take your AP Exam, you will be required to sign your answer sheet, indicating that you have read and agree to follow all the policies and procedures in the Bulletin for AP Students and Parents. You will also need to sign the covers of your multiple-choice and free-response booklets, affirming statements related to the security of the exam.

See the Exam Security web page for information about an update to the College Board test security policy that prohibits individuals from taking the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP Exams when we conclude they have gained or attempted to gain or share an unfair advantage on any College Board test.


Exam Score Cancellation

Designed to protect the integrity of the AP Exam and AP Exam scores, if your testing experience — even through no fault of your own — does not adhere to the “Test Security and Test Administration Policies and Procedures,” the College Board reserves the right to cancel your AP Exam score.

Preparing for the ExamsTop of Page

Get ready for the exams by practicing with sample questions and knowing what to expect on exam day.

To help you prepare to do your best on the AP Exam, here are practice questions and tips for labeling your exam materials and completing exam responses.


Practice Questions



History & Social Science

Math & Computer Science


World Languages & Cultures


Labeling Your AP Exam Materials

You must place an AP number label on each of the exam materials where it is indicated to do so. If you don’t, it may be impossible to match your answer sheet with your exam materials, which could delay or jeopardize your AP score.

  • Your sheet of bar-coded number labels is located in the center of the AP Student Pack that will be given to you on or before exam day.
  • You are assigned a unique number each year you take AP Exams.
  • Never use anyone else’s AP labels or number.
  • A removable card is provided in your AP Student Pack to help you keep a record of your AP number. You will need your AP number throughout the exam administration and in the months following the exam to order score reports and other services.
  • For the AP Chinese Language and Culture and Japanese Language and Culture exams your AP number must be keyed accurately into the exam computer.
  • For the AP Studio Art Exams, your AP number must be keyed accurately into the Digital Submission Web Application and, if you are submitting a Drawing or 2-D Design portfolio, your AP number needs to be attached to each artwork submitted for your Selected Works section.


Completing Exam Responses

You must follow the instructions below for completing exam responses; if you do not, your score could be negatively affected.

  • All of your answers for the multiple-choice section must be indicated on your answer sheet by filling in the appropriate circles. Do not write your answers for the multiple-choice section in the exam booklets. If you do, your answers will not be scored.
  • Answers for the free-response section must be written in the Section II exam booklet. Some exams have additional orange Section II booklets containing exam questions — do not write answers in these booklets.
  • All answers for the free-response section must be in English, with the exception of exams in Chinese Language and Culture, French Language and Culture, German Language and Culture, Italian Language and Culture, Japanese Language and Culture, Spanish Language and Culture, and Spanish Literature and Culture. Any responses not adhering to this policy will not be scored.