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Details for the 2021 AP Calculus Exam

The 2020-2021 school year has definitely been a wild ride. Teachers have had to deal with new and changing models for teaching (virtual, hybrid, cohorts) and many of us have lost valuable instructional time. With the College Board making the shift last year to digital exams, we have been left wondering what will happen for the 2021 AP Calculus Exam. We now have some answers.


The Exam Will Cover All Content in the CED

Unlike last year, we will need to be sure to cover Applications of Integration (CED Unit 8) for Calculus AB and all the CED content for BC.


The Exam Will Have 3 Possible Testing Dates

  1. May 4 at 8 am local time. Paper-and-pencil exam. In school.

  2. May 24 at 8 am local time. Paper-and-pencil exam. In school.

  3. June 9 at noon EDT. Digital exam. In school or at home.

Schools make decisions about which exam date(s) and are allowed to mix and match across courses, periods within the same course, and even by students within a single period. It remains the AP coordinator’s role to determine if multiple exam dates will be offered by their school. AP coordinators will be able to reassign a student with an existing exam order to a later date, if necessary.


Format of the Exam

The paper-and-pencil exam and the digital exam will be the same format as always (45 multiple choice questions in 1 hour 45 minutes, followed by 6 free response questions in 1 hour 30 minutes) with no calculator for Section 1 Part A and Section 2 Part B.


Details About the Digital Exam

There will be a College Board digital exam app that students will need to download onto the computer (Mac, Windows, or school issued Chromebook – with a built in camera) they will be using to take the exam. They will use this app to take all of their AP Exams. The app will become available in early April and students will have time to practice using the app before the actual exam. More details:

  • The digital exam will not include questions that can be answered with internet searches, textbooks, notes, study guides, or similar material.

  • For questions on the no-calculator sections (Section 1 Part A and Section 2 Part B), the questions will be written such that students won't need a calculator, nor benefit from having one.

  • Students will answer free response questions with a keyboard only. There will be no option to write solutions on paper and take a picture to submit.

  • Students will NOT be asked to type complex mathematical expressions or produce a drawing or a graph.

  • The digital exam app will include any symbols that students will need for their responses.

  • Students will not be able to return to answered questions or move back and forth among unanswered questions.

  • Scores for the digital exams will be released to students and colleges in August.


AP Live Will Be Back Again

AP Live review sessions will be happening again this year from April 19-29.


For More Information:

AP 2020-2021 Updates from the College Board

AP Exam Format Information from the College Board

Exam Dates from the College Board

Digital Exams from the College Board

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