AP/IB/CIE Update February 2021

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February 2021




Dear AP/IB/CIE Coordinators,

System Update

Important Updates

Good Afternoon!  I hope you are well, as I know that you are planning for next school year as well as the end of this one, simultaneously. Please see below for important information and updates. 

I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting information to understand next steps in providing guidance and support for your students regarding the assessments at the end of this school year. This afternoon, I have College Board information to share with you. It is important to note that no decisions have to be made now. This information has been provided so that you and your schools can plan. Decisions are not due until 7 days before any particular exam.


IBO Coordinators 

Course Code Change for 2021-2022

As you are supporting students with course registration, please note the course code for IB Business Management has been revised to BI508X0 for the 2021-2022 school year. This is a change for data reporting purposes, as it changes the second digit to align with the rest of the IBO course codes.


College Board Information

New AP Testing Dates and Digital Exams

Over the last year, the AP® community has demonstrated resilience and creativity, with teachers and students working together in new ways to keep AP classes moving forward. Schools and districts around the globe have implemented solutions that reflect the unique needs of their communities. There's no one-size-fits-all solution to instruction or assessment this school year. In developing plans for the 2021 AP Exam administration, we did our best to account for the continued uncertainties of the pandemic, the perspectives of AP educators, and the differences across AP subjects. We've made three key changes to AP testing in 2021 to protect the health and safety of educators and students, preserve college credit opportunities, and give schools additional flexibility.


Note: No action is due now. Schools are being given this information at this time to start preparing, but do not need to take action until March 12, the ordering deadline. Changes can subsequently be made for any student up until 7 days before a given exam in May/June with no penalty.


Key Changes


1. In addition to traditional paper and pencil AP Exams, full-length digital AP Exams will be available in most subjects. Schools and test centers have flexibility to choose whatever mix of paper or digital exams is right for each individual student and can administer digital exams in school or authorize them to be taken at home.


Digital exams will be taken on computers (Mac, Windows, school-managed Chromebooks), and may not be taken on smartphones. Each student will need their own computer to complete the readiness steps and take their exam.


Schools may administer digital exams in school or authorize students to take digital exams at home if in-school testing isn't possible.


All digital exams will have various security features in effect, whether taken in school or at home. For example, students taking digital exams won't be able to return to answered questions or move back and forth among unanswered questions.



2. The new 2021 AP Exam schedule provides three testing dates for each subject between early May and mid-June. By subject, each date is either a "paper-only" date or a "digital-only" date. Schools do NOT need to pick just one of the three exam administration windows—they can mix and match between the options to best serve the school's instructional schedule and safety protocols.

Administration 1 (May 3–7, 10–12, 14, and 17): Exams are paper and pencil, administered in school. As always, AP Chinese and Japanese exams will continue to be administered in school as computer-based exams.

Administration 2 (May 18–21, 24–28): Half of the subjects are only paper and pencil, administered in school, and half are only digital, administered in school or taken at home.

Administration 3 (June 1–4, 7–11): Most subjects are only digital, administered in school or taken at home.

In-school paper and pencil exams and computer-based AP Chinese and Japanese exams will be administered at local times. Digital exams have simultaneous start times worldwide.



 3. AP teachers and students will have a wide variety of resources to help prepare for AP Exams.

In addition to the ongoing support available through free course pacing guides, AP Daily videos, and AP Classroom feedback, we'll have live online review sessions, beginning April 19, recorded for students to watch anytime, anywhere.

Beginning in April, students and educators can access the exam application and a digital exam practice resource that enables students to complete tech checks, experience the exam day flow, and practice answering exam questions, including each type of multiple-choice and free-response question they’ll encounter on exam day.

Beginning in April, educators will have access to a dashboard that helps them track their students' progress in preparing for and completing digital exams.


Learn More

You can get the full testing schedule, specific information about the exam formats for each subject, and details about these changes—along with a timeline, guidance for planning your administration, and tools for your school community—at cb.org/ap2021.

Learn About 2021 Exams


Next Steps

Beginning in early March, AP coordinators will be able to shift individual students' exam registrations to Administration 2 and/or 3 exams, if needed, and can continue to make such changes as the spring progresses. In early March, we'll also share logistical details to help students prepare their devices for digital testing, a Digital Testing Guide, and information on accommodations for students with disabilities.