What to Know About AP Exams in 2017

Because tests are constantly evolving, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you need to know. As we enter into 2017, it may help to think about AP exams in their entirety—every test you could take, when they’re scheduled, and what you’ll need to do to prepare.

While knowing the logistics of your exams is only the beginning, it is a crucial step in achieving your testing goals. Here is what you should know about AP exams in 2017:

Where and when do I take my 2017 AP exams?

If you remember the month of May, you’re in good shape—all AP exams for 2017 take place during two weeks in May (May 1-5 and May 8-12). For a more specific breakdown, check the College Board's schedule.

Students are not allowed to take AP exams early, and local coordinators will announce test locations. If you’ve got two exams at the same time, you can reschedule one of them for later in May.

By July, you should know how you did on your exam—by mid-July, you should have the results of any exams you may have rescheduled to take later in May.

[RELATED: A Scoring Guide to AP Exams]

How do I register for my 2017 AP exams?

Of course, you’ll have to first register for AP exams, which must be done through your school with an accompanying fee. Begin by inquiring as to whether or not your school has an AP exam coordinator—that person should have all the information necessary and can advise you on appropriate coursework, though you are not required to take the corresponding AP course in order to take the exam.

If your school does not offer AP classes (or if you’re homeschooled), you should contact AP Services no later than March and ask them to put you in touch with a local coordinator who can help you out.

What should I bring to my AP exam test days?

While it may seem like months away, it doesn’t hurt to know well ahead of time what you’ll need to have with you test day. For instance, you’ll need to know your school’s six-digit code (there’s one for homeschooled students as well). If you’re taking an exam at another school, be sure to use the code for the school you attend. For a more comprehensive list of materials you can and cannot bring, check the College Board site.

How should I prep for my 2017 AP exams?

Believe it or not, May will be here before you know it—and students who study appropriately are more likely to perform infinitely better on their AP exams. Now is a great time to commit to taking one or more exams. Knowing there’s a test in your future makes it easier to pay attention and form a study plan that will work for you.

If you haven’t already, consider meeting with your high school guidance counselor to seek any advice on AP exam prep. You may also want to take a closer look at identifying your learning style. Both of these actionable steps can help you tailor an AP test prep plan that works for you. Bonus tip: don’t forget about practice tests! There are many free AP practice tests to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses.

[RELATED: What You Need to Know About the New AP Calculus Exams]

Finally, make a detailed timeline to give you an idea of what will be necessary and when as you prepare for your 2017 AP exam(s). If you’re taking a corresponding AP class, you might note when you’re going to cover certain topics, particularly if you feel like you may need extra study time with them. If you’re taking the exam without an accompanying course, make a more detailed schedule of when you’ll independently cover exam topics.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to address problem areas and sharpen your skills. Take preparation seriously and you’ll be on your way to a stellar AP score!

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