AP Test Dates For The Year 2021: The Full Calendar

Mar 26, 2021

You’re at the right place if you’re looking for the 2021 AP exam dates. We will provide you the entire 2021 AP test dates and guidance for getting through the tiring May exam season. 

This article will help you stay on top of your 2020-2021 study schedule and get our expert guidance to deal with complicated AP tests’ stress!

How COVID-19 affected AP Test Dates

Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, AP tests will now be conducted over three different sessions between May and June. Your test dates and whether your tests will be online or on paper will vary from school to school. 

To understand how all of this will work, get the latest information on test dates, AP online review, and how these changes will affect you, please check out AP 2020-2021 Updates.

What Is the 2021 AP Schedule? 

Things have changed after the coronavirus pandemic. For 2021, AP exams will be conducted from May 3 to June 11, a much more extended testing period than regular. This is because the College Board is offering three test administrations to account for differing schedules, school guidelines, internet connections, student preferences, etc.

As per the College Board, "Schools oblige all decisions about which exams are offered. Students are not able to choose exam dates on their own. At the start of March, AP coordinators will be able to assign students to Administration 2 and 3 exams, if needed." 

So you won't have a choice to choose which administration you'll be taking; your school will select it for you sometime in March.

If you're taking AP Art and Design, AP Seminar, AP Computer Science Principles, or AP Research, Thursday, May 20 at 11:59 PM EST is the last day for coordinators to submit your digital portfolios collect your physical projects for portfolio gatherings.

Have a look at each AP exam format by checking out the College Board's AP website and selecting the specific exam you're interested in. Know the structure of the exam and the types of questions you'll be asked.

Learn more about the AP Courses here.

Administration 1

Administration 1 is held from May 3rd to May 17th. All exams in Administration 1 will be conducted in school. All except Japanese Language and Culture and Chinese Language and Culture will be conducted with pencil and paper, the way AP exams have traditionally been taken. 

All morning exams will be conducted at 8:00 AM local time, afternoon exams will be conducted at 12:00 PM local time, and one exam will be taken at 2:00 PM local time.

Administration 1 AP Schedule (In-School)

Administration 1 AP Schedule - 1

Administration 1 AP Schedule - 2

Administration 2

Administration 2 has two parts. In Option 1, exams will be held on the screen, on computer/laptop either at school or at home. You can take Option 1 from May 18 to May 28. You get a morning time slot and an afternoon time slot, and what time you take your exam will depend on the time zone you live in.

Morning Slot:

Hawaii Time: 6:00AM

Alaska Daylight Time: 8:00AM

Pacific Daylight Time: 9:00AM

Mountain Daylight Time: 10:00AM

Central Daylight Time: 11:00AM

Eastern Daylight Time: 12:00PM

Afternoon Slot:

Hawaii Time: 10:00AM

Alaska Daylight Time: 12:00PM

Pacific Daylight Time: 1:00PM

Mountain Daylight Time: 2:00PM

Central Daylight Time: 3:00PM

Eastern Daylight Time: 4:00PM

In Administration 2, Option 2 will be taken in school with paper and pencil on either May 21, 24, or 25. The exceptions are the Japanese Culture and Language and Chinese Culture and Language exams which will still be conducted at school but on the computer. Exams will be taken at either 8:00 AM or 12:00 PM local time.

Administration 2 AP Schedule, Option 1: Exams are taken from School or at Home

Administration 2 AP Schedule - 1

Administration 2 AP Schedule, Option 2: Paper, in School

Administration 2 AP Schedule - 2

Administration 3

Administration 3 is arranged similarly to Administration 2. Option 1 is held from June 1 to June 11 and will include online exams taken either at school or home. Times for these exams will depend on your time zone; check the list above in Administration 2 to see when you'll be taking your exams.

Option 2 is held only on June 4th and will be taken on paper at the school, either at 8:00 AM local time or 12:00 PM local time. As with the other administrations, the Japanese Language and Culture and Chinese Language and Culture exams will be taken on a computer (but still at school).

Administration 3 AP Schedule, Option 1: Exams are taken from School or at Home

Administration 3 AP Schedule - 1

Administration 3 AP Schedule, Option 2: Paper, in School

Administration 3 AP Schedule - 2

How to Manage Yourself During the AP Exam Period

It is challenging to manage your time in May and feel ready for each AP test—it doesn’t matter if you're taking two AP exams or five!

Your AP schedule is more like a marathon and less like a sprint. You can expect to be challenging. It is challenging to keep your energy and inspiration up during the exam period. 

So remember this vital advice; always memorize your AP exam schedule as early as possible so you can start preparing for May.

If you're going to take three AP tests in three days, you should complete your studying before AP exams start. This way, you can focus on staying relaxed during the exam period and not stress yourself out with last-minute cramming.

If you are going to take the tests on the first Monday, the second Monday, and the last Friday of the exam period, you should plan to do some studying during May for your previous two tests. Remember to prioritize the test you're taking earliest and make sure you're prepared for it before May rolls around.

Refer to the tables above and understand what your AP exam schedule looks like for 2021. After that, you have to manage yourself to stay focused and motivated during May.

1. You cannot pull off last-minute studying

You should have learned all significant concepts by May and taken at least one practice exam for each AP test you're taking. It is impossible to pull off last-minute studying during the exam period by going through your prep book quickly or taking tons of practice exams. On the contrary, it will just stress you out. You need lots of time to study more effectively.

If you finish most of your studying before May, you can use that extra time to review essential and tricky concepts and to ensure you're getting enough rest.

2. Focus more on Your Weak Points

Know what exam will be more brutal to you compare to others; prioritize any extra time you have in May toward that test.

For instance, if you're taking both AP Calculus AB and AP US History—and you're pretty great in Calculus—you can use any extra time in May to keep working on AP US History. Remember dates, practice essay questions, and go through your notes.

You do not need to spend equal time on every upcoming exam in May, and it can prove too little risky for you. Again, this is why it's so essential to begin studying early, so you have the necessary time to learn all the major concepts for your tests well before May!

3. Timing Is Everything

While practicing various sections in April or May—either multiple choice or free response—always remember to time yourself rigidly so you're prepared for actual AP test timing.

Earlier in the year, it's ideal to take a few untimed multiple-choice or free-response sections. But just before the beginning of your AP tests, you need to make sure that you're prepared for what the actual exam timing will be like. Doing this will make your test much less stressful since you'll be used to the time constraints!

4. Don't Burn Yourself Out

If you have many exams in a week, or continuously two days in a row or two in a day, always avoid heavy studying during that time and make sure you are well-rested, and you have got enough sleep just before your exam.

Besides that, just before your AP test, get good rest and eat a healthy, balanced breakfast or lunch to improve your score. 

5. You Need to Relax

Avoid getting obsessed over studyingng and getting anxious about the tests. You have to make time to do something fun, or relaxing, or something to calm your mind, or get some exercise during the AP exam period. 

You could do yoga, meditate, listen to music, go for a run, or read your favorite book. Here taking time to relax is crucial since anxiety can (and will!) negatively affect your performance on test day.

However, if you're having a difficult time staying motivated late in the year, then take the time you have left in May to do some practice sections or review essential terms. Remember, finishing strong and doing great on your AP tests is essential to getting the most out of your AP classes!

6. Don’t Forget About Your Other Subjects 

Remember that your schedule isn't packed in case your non-AP class assignments come up.

Your high school GPA is crucial for college admissions, so don't let AP exams ultimately distract you from your other classes!

7. Remember what you want in your future

If you want to ace in AP Spanish, so you don’t have to take any language in the college, or you're aiming for high scores across the board to make you competitive for top colleges, do not lose track of your goals during May.

Even though it can be tiring and stressful to have a handful of AP exams, make sure to keep your reasons for taking the tests in the back of your mind. This will give you the motivation you need to finish strong and pass your exams!

In the End, What About AP Test Dates for Future Years?

So, you might be wondering what the AP exam schedule is for 2022 and of the near future. Sadly, we cannot predict the program as it is. This is because the AP Calendar tends to change from year to year. Since there are always some changes, we cannot say for sure what the 2022 calendar will look like—even though the changes from year to year are often minor.


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