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AP Test Dates 2021: Complete Calendar

Posted by Halle Edwards | Feb 16, 2021 6:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

 

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Looking for the 2021 AP exam dates? We have the complete 2021 AP test dates as well as advice for getting through the busy May exam season. Keep reading to stay on top of your 2020-2021 study schedule and to get tips for dealing with the stress of endless AP tests!

 

AP Test Changes Due to COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, AP tests were held remotely in 2020. For more information about the COVID-19 impact on AP exams and up-to-date information about impacts to the 2021 testing schedule, check out our AP COVID-19 FAQ article.

 

What Is the 2021 AP Schedule?

Things are a little different this year! For 2021, AP exams will take place from May 3 to June 11, a much longer testing period than usual. This is because the College Board is offering three test administrations in order to try to account for differing schedules, internet connections, school rules, student preferences, etc.

According to the College Board, "Schools make all decisions about which exams are offered. Students won’t be able to choose exam dates on their own. Beginning in early March, AP coordinators will be able to assign students to Administration 2 and/or 3 exams, if needed." So you won't choose which administration you'll be taking; your school will choose it for you, likely sometime in March.

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

You can see the format of each AP exam by checking out the College Board's AP website and clicking on the specific exam you're interested in. There you'll see the format of the exam and the types of question you'll be asked.

 

Administration 1

Administration 1 runs from May 3rd to May 17th. All exams in Administration 1 will be taken in school, and all except Japanese Language and Culture and Chinese Language and Culture will be taken with pencil and paper, the way AP exams have traditionally been taken. Morning exams will be taken at 8:00AM local time, afternoon exams will be taken at 12:00PM local time, and there is one exam that will be taken at 2:00PM local time.

 

Administration 1 AP Schedule (In-School)

Date 8:00 AM (Local Time) 12:00 PM (Local Time) 2:00 PM (Local Time)
Monday, May 3 United States Government and Politics Physics C: Mechanics Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Tuesday, May 4 Calculus AB

Calculus BC
German Language and Culture

Human Geography
 
Wednesday, May 5 English Literature and Composition Japanese Language and Culture (computer based)

Physics 1: Algebra-Based
 
Thursday, May 6 United States History Art History

Computer Science A
 
Friday, May 7 Chemistry

Spanish Literature and Culture
European History

Physics 2: Algebra-Based
 
Monday, May 10 French Language and Culture

World History: Modern
Macroeconomics  
Tuesday, May 11 Seminar

Spanish Language and Culture
Latin

Psychology
 
Wednesday, May 12 English Language and Composition Microeconomics

Music Theory
 
Thursday, May 13 **No exams scheduled this day**    
Friday, May 14 Biology

Italian Language and Culture
Chinese Language and Culture (computer based)

Environmental Science
 
Monday, May 17 Comparative Government and Politics

Computer Science Principles
Statistics  

 

Administration 2

There are two parts to Administration 2. In what we're calling Option 1, exams will be taken on the computer, either at school or at home. Option 1 runs from May 18 to May 28. There is a morning time slot and an afternoon time slot, and what time you take your exam will depend on the time zone you're in (sorry Hawaii).

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

Exams during 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 taken at school, but on the computer. Exams will be taken at either 8:00AM or 12:00PM local time.

 

Administration 2 AP Schedule, Option 1: Digital, in School or at Home

Date Morning Time Slot Afternoon Time Slot
Tuesday, May 18 English Literature and Composition Computer Science A
Wednesday, May 19 European History
United States History
Art History
Macroeconomics
Thursday, May 20 United States Government and Politics  
World History: Modern
Psychology
Wednesday, May 26 English Language and Composition Computer Science Principles
Seminar
Thursday, May 27 Biology Environmental Science
Friday, May 28 Comparative Government and Politics
Human Geography
Microeconomics

 

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

Date 8:00 AM Time Slot (Local Time) 12:00 PM Time Slot (Local Time)
Friday, May 21 Italian Language and Culture
Japanese Language and Culture (computer based)
Latin
Spanish Language and Culture
Chinese Language and Culture (computer based)
French Language and Culture
German Language and Culture
Music Theory
Spanish Literature and Culture
Monday, May 24 Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Physics C: Mechanics
Tuesday, May 25 Chemistry
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Physics 2: Algebra-Based
Statistics

 

Administration 3

Administration 3 is organized similarly to Administration 2. Option 1 lasts from June 1 to June 11 and will consist of online exams taken either at school or at home. Exact 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 only on June 4th and will be paper tests taken at 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: Digital, in School or at Home

Date Morning Time Slot Afternoon Time Slot
Tuesday, June 1 English Literature and Composition Computer Science A
Wednesday, June 2 European History
United States History
Art History
Macroeconomics
Thursday, June 3 United States Government and Politics
World History: Modern
Psychology
Monday, June 7 English Language and Composition Computer Science Principles   Seminar
Tuesday, June 8 Comparative Government and Politics
Human Geography
Microeconomics
Wednesday, June 9 Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Physics C: Mechanics
Thursday, June 10 Chemistry
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Physics 2: Algebra-Based   Statistics
Friday, June 11 Biology Environmental Science

 

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

Date 8:00 AM Time Slot (Local Time) 12:00 PM Time Slot (Local Time)
Friday, June 4 Italian Language and Culture

Japanese Language and Culture (computer based)

Latin

Spanish Language and Culture
Chinese Language and Culture (computer based)

French Language and Culture

German Language and Culture

Music Theory

Spanish Literature and Culture

 

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How to Stay Focused During the AP Exam Period

It can be tough to manage your time in May and feel prepared for each AP test—whether you're taking two AP exams or five!

I'm actually pretty familiar with the AP time crunch. In my last three years of high school, I had multiple exams every May, and each year had a different but equally challenging schedule. Sophomore year I had three AP tests in one week. Junior year I took two tests in two days. Senior year was more of a marathon: I took four tests, stretching from the first day of testing to the last!

 

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Whether your AP schedule feels like a sprint or a marathon, you can expect it to be challenging.

 

From experience, I know it can be challenging to keep your energy and motivation up during the exam period. So my main piece of advice is to memorize your AP exam schedule as early as possible so you can start preparing for May.

As an example, if you realize you're going to have three AP tests in three days, you should get all of your studying out of the way before AP exams start. This way you can focus on staying rested during the exam period and not stress yourself out with last-minute cramming.

On the other hand, if you have 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 last two tests. That said, definitely prioritize the test you're taking soonest, and make sure you're prepared for it before May rolls around.

Consult the tables above and figure out what your AP exam schedule looks like for 2021. Next, follow our rules for staying focused and motivated during May.

 

#1: Don't Cram!

By May, you should have learned all major concepts and taken at least one practice exam for each AP test you're taking. Trying to pull off last-minute studying during the exam period, such as by rushing through a prep book or taking tons of practice exams, will just stress you out. You'll study more effectively if you give yourself plenty of time.

If you finish major studying before May, you can use any extra time to review tricky concepts and to ensure you're getting enough rest.

 

#2: Focus on Your Weak Points

If you have one exam that you know is going to be the hardest for you, prioritize any extra time you have in May toward that test.

For example, if you're taking both AP Calculus AB and AP US History—and you're pretty confident about Calculus—you can use any extra time in May to keep working on AP US History. Memorize dates, practice essay questions, or review your notes.

If you try to spend equal time on every upcoming exam in May, you risk spreading yourself too thin. Again, this is why it's so important to begin studying early so you have enough time to learn all the major concepts for your tests well before May!

 

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#3: Timing Is Everything

When doing practice sections in April or May—either multiple choice or free response—be sure to time yourself strictly so you're prepared for actual AP test timing.

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

body_timing

 

#4: Don't Burn Yourself Out

If you have multiple exams in a week, or two days in a row (or two in a day!), limit heavy studying during that time and instead confirm that you're getting enough rest. Right before an AP test, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy, balanced breakfast or lunch will do far more to improve your score than will memorizing a few more facts or doing one more practice test.

 

#5: Be Self-Reflective

If you're the type to obsess over studying and get really anxious about tests, try to actively make time to do something fun or get some exercise in during the AP exam period. Whether that's doing yoga, going for a run, or reading your favorite book, taking time to relax is key, since anxiety can (and will!) negatively affect your performance on test day.

However, if you're having a tough time staying motivated late in the year and have been slacking on studying, definitely take the time you have left in May to do some practice sections or review key terms. Remember, finishing strong and doing well on your AP tests is important to getting the most out of your AP classes!

 

#6: Don't Forget Your Other Classes

Most teachers should be sympathetic about homework and assignments during the AP test period, but you still want to be sure that your schedule isn't crammed with cramming in case you have to deal with non-AP class assignments, too.

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

 

#7: Remember Your Goals

Whether you're hoping to ace AP Spanish so you won't have to take a language in college, or you're aiming for high scores across the board to make you competitive for top schools, don't lose track of your goals during May.

Even though it can be exhausting 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!

 

body_goals-1

 

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What About AP Test Dates for Future Years?

You might be wondering what the AP exam schedule is for 2022 and beyond. Unfortunately, we cannot predict the schedule exactly. This is because the AP Calendar tends to change a bit from year to year. Since there are always slight changes, we can't say for certain what the 2022 calendar will look like—even though the changes from year to year are often minor.

Here are the schedules from the last five years, with changes from the previous year highlighted in yellow:

 

2020 AP Testing Schedule

Week 1 (2020)

  Morning (8 AM) Afternoon (12 PM) Evening (2 PM)
Monday, May 11 Physics C: Mechanics Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism United States Government and Politics
Tuesday, May 12 Latin Calculus AB

Calculus BC
Human Geography
Wednesday, May 13 Physics 2: Algebra-Based English Literature and Composition European History
Thursday, May 14 Spanish Literature and Culture Chemistry Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Friday, May 15 Art History United States History Computer Science A

 

Week 2 (2020)

  Morning (8 AM) Afternoon (12 PM) Evening (2 PM)
Monday, May 18 Chinese Language and Culture Biology Environmental Science
Tuesday, May 19 Music Theory Psychology Japanese Language and Culture

Italian Language and Culture
Wednesday, May 20 German Language and Culture English Language and Composition Microeconomics
Thursday, May 21 French Language and Culture World History: Modern Macroeconomics
Friday, May 22 Comparative Government and Politics Statistics Spanish Language and Culture

 

2019 AP Testing Schedule

Week 1 (2019)
Morning (8 am) Afternoon (12 pm)
Monday (May 6)
United States Government and Politics Chinese Language and Culture
Environmental Science
Tuesday (May 7)
Seminar Japanese Language and Culture
Spanish Language and Culture Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Wednesday (May 8)
English Literature and Composition European History
French Language and Culture
Thursday (May 9)
Chemistry German Language and Culture
Spanish Literature and Culture Psychology
Friday (May 10)
United States History Computer Science Principles
Physics 2: Algebra-Based

 

Week 2 (2019)

Morning (8am) Afternoon (12pm) Afternoon (2pm)
Monday (May 13)
Biology Physics C: Mechanics Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Tuesday (May 14)
Calculus AB Art History
Calculus BC Human Geography
Wednesday (May 15)
English Language and Composition Italian Language and Culture
Macroeconomics
Thursday (May 16)
Comparative Government and Politics Statistics
World History
Friday (May 17)
Microeconomics Computer Science A
Music Theory Latin

 

 

2018 AP Testing Schedule

Week 1 (2018)

Morning (8 am) Afternoon (12 pm)
Monday (May 7)
Chemistry Psychology
Spanish Literature and Culture
Tuesday (May 8)
Seminar Art History
Spanish Language and Culture Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Wednesday (May 9)
English Literature and Composition Japanese Language and Culture
Physics 2: Algebra-Based
Thursday (May 10)
United States Government and Politics Chinese Language and Culture
Environmental Science
Friday (May 11)
German Language and Culture Computer Science Principles
United States History

 

Week 2 (2018)

Morning (8am) Afternoon (12pm) Afternoon (2pm)
Monday (May 14)
Biology Physics C: Mechanics Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Music Theory
Tuesday (May 15)
Calculus AB French Language and Culture
Calculus BC Computer Science A
Wednesday (May 16)
English Language and Composition Italian Language and Culture
Macroeconomics
Thursday (May 17)
Comparative Government and Politics Statistics
World History
Friday (May 18)
Human Geography Latin
Microeconomics European History

 

While there was understandably a lot of change in 2020 due to COVID, there was also quite a bit of change in AP test scheduling from 2018 to 2019—nearly half of all the AP exams moved around time- or day-wise (although most of the change happened to tests in the afternoon of week 1).

If you look back five or even 10 years, the dates change more, and the exams evolve as well. Some AP tests have been added over time (such as the new Physics exams), and some have been taken away, such as French Literature and Studio Art.

In short, you can expect the AP test schedule for the next year or two to look somewhat similar to the 2021 schedule—but you can't do any longer-term planning beyond that!

 

What's Next?

Learn more about AP tests—how long they are, how many you should take, and which ones are the easiest and hardest for students.

Also studying for the SAT or ACT? Develop a target SAT score based on your top schools (ACT version here).

Studying for the SAT? Check out our complete guide to the SAT. Taking the ACT instead? Then get a complete guide to the ACT.

 

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Halle Edwards
About the Author

Halle Edwards graduated from Stanford University with honors. In high school, she earned 99th percentile ACT scores as well as 99th percentile scores on SAT subject tests. She also took nine AP classes, earning a perfect score of 5 on seven AP tests. As a graduate of a large public high school who tackled the college admission process largely on her own, she is passionate about helping high school students from different backgrounds get the knowledge they need to be successful in the college admissions process.



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