AP® Exam Policies & Accommodations
Approved Calculators And Allowed Items On Exam Day
The AP exams are administered to allow students to achieve their academic goals and get a head start in higher education by qualifying for college credit. However, the College Board® is very strict about protecting the integrity of the AP Program and has stated that it is prohibited for examinees to share or access any type of unauthorized information during exams. Therefore, specific policies regarding calculators and equipment, exam security, breaks during exams, and accommodations have been implemented by the College Board to promote a fair testing experience for all students. It is crucial that test takers learn and follow these guidelines, which, if violated, can result in dismissal from the test site, score cancellation, or even a complete ban on taking any exams (eg, SAT®, AP®, CLEP®) in the future. In the event a ban is placed on an examinee, the right to lift the ban will be at the College Board’s discretion.
As you ramp up your prep for AP exams this year, it’s also important to know the special accommodations set up by the College Board. We understand that it can be a hassle to search for all the policies and other do’s and don’ts regarding AP test taking. So, we’ve compiled all the information that you would need for exam day right here on this page!
What Should I Bring on AP Exam Day?
Curious about what you can bring inside the exam room? Look no further! Here is a checklist of items you can bring with you on test day.
- A current government-issued or school-issued photo ID
- Your six-digit school code or home-school code
- No. 2 pencils with erasers (HB pencils are also acceptable for students outside of the U.S.)
- Pens in black or dark blue ink
- The AP Student Pack
- College Board SSD Student Accommodations Letter (if applicable)
Note: Additional documentation may be required for test centers outside the United States - please check with your school administration. Alternatively, if you are an international or homeschooled student, you can call the College Board directly if you are not getting the information you need before exam day.
Equipment you are allowed to carry into the exam room:
- An acceptable calculator (refer to the chart below) if your AP exam allows the use of a calculator.
- A watch that does not have internet access and does not make any kind of noise.
- A ruler or straightedge only if you are taking an AP Physics Exam. Protractors are prohibited.
Things you should not carry into the exam room:
- Backpacks or bags.
- Cell phones or electronic communication devices of any kind.
- Earplugs, highlighters, correction fluid, pencils that are not No. 2, or pens that are not blue or black ink.
- Scratch paper - if your exam requires the use of scratch paper, you will be provided with it during the exam.
- Any subject-related information on your clothing, shoes, or body.
What Are the AP Exam Rules?
In this section, we have listed important rules that you need to follow on the day of your AP exam:
- Take your AP exam at the scheduled date and time.
- Do not open your exam materials until your proctor tells you to do so.
- Do not remove any exam materials from the testing room.
- Do not obtain or attempt to obtain improper access to exam content or any prohibited information about the exam itself.
- Do not remove any page or portion of a page from the exam book.
- Do not attempt to remove any part of the exam or any notes relating to the exam from the testing room.
- Do not refer to or look through any exam section at any time other than during the designated testing period.
- Do not try to access your phone or any electronic device (other than approved equipment) during testing or breaks. This includes any internet-enabled devices or cameras.
- Refrain from using testing accommodations not approved by the College Board.
- Do not leave the testing room, building, or designated break area without permission. Refrain from taking extended breaks.
- Refrain from creating any disturbance within the exam room or designated break area.
- Refrain from copying content from another student’s work or from published or unpublished sources during your exam.
- Do not attempt to give exam assistance to another person or receive exam assistance from anyone during the exam. This includes break time as well.
- NEVER attempt to take the exam for someone else!
What to Do Once I Enter the AP Exam Room?
There are a few essential things you should do when you enter the exam room and get your answer booklets. Let’s see
what they are!
Label your AP test materials
Labeling your AP Test materials correctly is extremely important. The label links the answer sheet to the actual student who took the test, which allows the College Board examiners to give the right score to the correct test taker. Labels that are placed incorrectly or missing completely on the answer sheets can affect a student’s score (e.g., your exam score report could arrive late). So, always remember to label your exam materials properly!
- After entering the exam room, you will be provided with a sheet of labels with your AP ID listed on it. These labels contain a unique barcode and alphanumeric code.
- Your proctor will tell you where to put these labels.
- Make sure you label your exam kit and answer sheets with the AP ID labels.
- If you haven’t been provided with the AP ID labels, ask your proctor.
- If you do not have AP ID labels, you will have to write your AP ID on your exam materials and answer sheet. Double check with the proctor about where to write your codes.
Note: The AP Chinese Language and Culture and Japanese Language and Culture exams are administered online, and you are required to type in your AP ID on the student information screen at the beginning of the exam.
For the AP Art and Design Exams, attach your AP ID label on the back of your physical artworks before mailing them to the AP Program. You’ll also have to enter the AP ID in the digital submission web application before forwarding your digital portfolio to your AP teacher.
How to fill in your AP answer sheet and booklet:
As you know by now, the AP exam consists of two sections, a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. You will be given an answer sheet for the multiple-choice section and an answer booklet for the free-response section. Here are a few pointers to help fill in your answer sheet and answer booklet appropriately:
- In the multiple-choice answer sheet, always select your answer for the multiple-choice questions by filling in the appropriate circles.
- In the free-response booklet, write your answers only in English (with the exception of foreign language and culture AP exams).
- You will also receive an additional orange booklet containing the exam questions or reference information. DO NOT write your answers in this orange booklet, as these responses will not be scored.
AP Exam Security Policies
AP Exam security guidelines are in place to ensure every student gets the same chance to demonstrate their knowledge without anyone gaining an unfair advantage. The College Board publishes a “Terms and Conditions” document that students can access on their website. Every student is expected to read and acknowledge the document and adhere to it. Here are some of the most crucial security measures the College Board takes to ensure each student has a fair testing experience.
If you post any kind of unauthorized content corresponding to the AP exam on social media during your exam or refer to any unreleased exam content at any time after the exam, the College Board will disqualify you from being able to get an exam score. Once your score is canceled, retesting will not be permitted, and you may be banned from taking AP exams in the future.
Content Disclosure Policy
The College Board also reserves the right to automatically cancel your exam score if you are discovered disclosing any of the following:
- Multiple-choice (MCQ) content for any exam (regularly scheduled and late testing)
- Free-response (FRQ) content for late testing exams
- FRQ content for regularly scheduled exams within 2 days of administration or that has not been posted on the College Board website even after 2-days of its administration.
Although you may not do it on purpose, casually talking about multiple-choice questions with anyone during the exam break or discussing a free-response question right after the exam, can potentially result in having your score canceled. You may discuss any of the free-response questions from your AP exam that are posted on the College Board
website 48 hours after the exam.
How will the College Board prevent cheating?
As of 2022, the College Board has developed various methods to prevent cheating, including plagiarism-detection software. Students accused of cheating will have their scores be canceled automatically, and potentially be banned from taking future AP exams.
You are allowed to take breaks between Sections I and II of your AP exam. However, due to the strict AP guidelines on exam timing, this break could be as short as 10 minutes . It is recommended that you bring a snack or lunch to eat during the break. However, specific regulations apply that every student is expected to follow during breaks.
- You are not allowed to consult textbooks, notes, teachers, or other students.
- You may not use any electronic or communication devices, like your cell phone, for any reason.
- As a test-taker, you may not leave the building at any time during the exam administration, including during a scheduled break.
Remember, you are prohibited from talking about what is on the exam to anyone during the break or after the exam has been administered.
AP Exam Calculator Policy
This section explores the Calculator Policies set up by the College Board and the rules for using calculators during
Can you use a calculator on the AP exam?
You are permitted to use a calculator for specific exams. If you’re wondering
which AP exams allow you to use a calculator, here’s a compiled list:
|Course||Type of Calculator Allowed||Section I MCQ||Section II FRQ|
|Calculus AB||Graphing calculator||Required for Part B||Required for Part A|
|Calculus BC||Graphing calculator||Required for Part B||Required for Part A|
|Chemistry||A scientific calculator (must not have unapproved features or capabilities) or graphing calculator are recommended; a four-function calculator is allowed but not recommended.||Not Allowed||Allowed|
|Environmental Science||Four-function (with square root), scientific, or graphing calculator||Allowed||Allowed|
|Physics 1||Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator||Allowed||Allowed|
|Physics 2||Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator||Allowed||Allowed|
|Physics C: Mechanics||Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator||Allowed||Allowed|
|Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism||Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator||Allowed||Allowed|
|Statistics||Graphing calculator with statistical capabilities. Non-graphing calculators are permitted if they have the required statistical computation capabilities described on the AP Statistics Course page by the College Board.||Expected||Expected|
However, there are a few rules that apply to the usage of calculators during AP exams:
- Sharing calculators is prohibited among examinees.
- You can’t use your calculator to communicate with other calculators!
- You must never use the calculator’s memory to copy and take test content out of the exam room! Doing so might result in the cancellation of your scores and other negative consequences.
- It’s not mandatory for you to use a calculator for your exam. You can choose not to.
- If you choose to take an exam without a calculator, you must write, date, and sign a Calculator Release Statement on exam day. This document will be provided by your AP coordinator/proctor.
- You can bring up to 2 permitted calculators to the exam. Make sure that your equipment is in good working order.
Which calculators are allowed on the AP exams?
The College Board publishes a list of approved calculators that students can use for their AP exams. Here we have included the list of those approved calculators to help you out. Remember that the proctor will check all calculators before the exam begins. Below are the approved calculators for the 2023-24 AP exams:
FX 1.0 Series*
FX-CG500* (The use of the stylus is not permitted)
Algebra FX 2.0 Series*
Some Other Brands: Datexx DS-883, Micronta, NumWorks, and Smart2.
*Graphing calculators with built-in capabilities for AP Calculus are indicated with an asterisk. Only approved graphing calculators from the list are permitted for AP Calculus exams.
AP Exam Accommodations
To ensure a fair testing opportunity for everyone, the College Board provides unique provisions for students with disabilities on exam day. These provisions, commonly called “AP Accommodations” are a part of the AP exam policies. These accommodations are designed to ensure every AP student gets the same chance to demonstrate their knowledge on exam day. If you have a documented disability that affects your ability to take the AP exam, you may be eligible for special accommodations. There is a wide range of accommodations available and these include:
- Braille exam format
- Assistive technology–compatible (ATC) exam format
- Large-print exam format
- Extended time for the examination
- Extra breaks during the examination
- Large-block answer sheets
- Permission to use a computer for typing essays
- Permission to use a magnification device (electronic or non-electronic)
- A human reader to dictate questions
- A writer/scribe to record responses
- A written copy of oral instructions
Can you get extra time on the AP exam?
The College Board approves extra time for students with specific disabilities. These disabilities can be in all or any of these competencies: reading, mathematical calculation, written expression, listening and speaking. Extra time is allowed only for sections impacted by these disabilities. If you have opted to take the AP exam with an accommodation for extended time, you will usually get either 50% or 100% more time than the standard testing duration for that exam.
Assessing the need for AP exam accommodations
Some students with documented disabilities are eligible for AP exam accommodations. Students cannot take the AP Exams with accommodations unless their request for accommodations has been approved by the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Even if you receive accommodations in your school, and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan, you must still turn in a request form for exam accommodations for your AP exams. Speak to your school’s SSD coordinator to help you arrange AP exam accommodations. Here’s a step-by-step guide to determining whether you can get accommodations for the AP exam or not:
- You must document the disability.
To receive AP accommodations, you must first provide documentation of the disability(s). Any written document, such as a current psychoeducational evaluation or a report from a doctor, is treated as valid proof. The type of documentation needed will depend on the disability and the accommodations being requested.
- Ask yourself if the disability may affect how you take the AP exam.
AP exams can be administered with accommodations if a student’s disability results in functional limitations in the following areas: reading, writing, and sitting for extended periods.
- The student must demonstrate the need for the accommodation being requested.
For instance, if you have requested extended time during the AP exam, then you should have valid documentation showing that you have difficulty testing under timed conditions.
- If your school provides you with accommodations for taking classes and timed tests, provide this evidence.
If your school provides you with accommodations for taking classes and timed tests, then chances are you’ll be able to ask for accommodations during the AP exam as well. Reach out to your SSD coordinator to help you arrange accommodations for your AP exam.
Requesting AP accommodations
The easiest way to request accommodations is to reach out to your school’s SSD coordinator. Your school’s SSD coordinator will be able to place the request for you via the College Board’s online portal. This person may be a special educator or a guidance counselor. Be sure to discuss your accommodation needs with your SSD coordinator well in advance of exam day and confirm with them that everything has been submitted and approved. Once the request for accommodations is approved, you will be given an SSD number. Keep this number handy. You’ll need to use this number every time you register to take an AP exam or any other exam that is administered by the College Board.
It is highly recommended to apply for AP accommodations as early as possible, preferably at the beginning of the school year. Once you or the school submit the accommodation request, it can take up to seven weeks to be approved. So, ideally, it is advised to start the application process no later than January because all AP exams are administered in May.
Can students also request accommodations without help from their school?
Yes, students can also request accommodations without help from their school. To submit a request without your school’s involvement, you can fill out a Student Eligibility Form from the SSD website. The completed form and
documentation of the disability should be mailed or faxed to the College Board SSD. You will receive your SSD eligibility letter in the mail if you are approved for exam accommodations. Be sure to bring your SSD eligibility letter from the College Board with you to every exam.
Deadline for Requesting AP accommodations
All requests for accommodations and completed documentation must be submitted through SSD Online by January 18, 2023.
What to bring to an AP exam with accommodations?
Before exam day, students should confirm with their school’s SSD coordinator or AP test center to verify that all the accommodations are in place and that no further documentation is required. On test day, all students testing with accommodations should remember to bring their SSD eligibility letter.
Lastly, here are some FAQs to help you understand the AP Exam Policies better:
How do you report AP exam day problems?
Can you bring water/food into the exam room?
Can you bring a slide rule to an AP exam room?
Are notes allowed during the exam?
Study notes of any kind are not allowed to be brought into the exam room. The College Board may cancel your exam score if you are found in possession of any notes or study materials.
Will 2023 AP exams require cameras?
As per the latest updates from the College Board, there are no specific guidelines regarding the use of cameras for logging into your AP exam.
Do you need to turn on your webcam to take the exam digitally?
No, as of 2022, the College Board does not require you to turn on your webcam in order to take the exam digitally.
Can you get extra time on the AP exam?
How long are AP exams with accommodations?
Do English language learners have accommodations on AP exams?
While English language learners receive accommodations for the SAT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 exams, the College Board doesn’t specify these provisions for the AP exam. If you are an English language learner and are taking the AP exam, please reach out to your AP coordinator for clarification.
How do you get tested for ADHD accommodations?
Do approved accommodations for the PSAT apply to AP exams?
If you have previously been approved by the College Board for testing accommodations for the PSAT, you do not need to submit a new request for your AP exams. Once your accommodations are approved by the College Board, they remain in effect until one year after high school graduation and can be used for all exams offered by the College Board.
How much extra time do ADHD / students with anxiety get on AP exams?
College Board: AP Exam Calculator Policy
College Board: Twitter post April 4, 2020
College Board: AP Statistics Course and Exam Description
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