What to Know About AP Exams in 2019

Attention high school AP students: beginning this August, you can expect changes to the AP exam process. Items on the agenda include enhanced free test prep materials for AP teachers, an earlier AP exam registration deadline in November, and a $40.00 late fee for late registration or exam cancellation.

If you’re planning on taking an AP course, read on to learn about the changes that could affect your AP exam experience in 2019.

Change #1 for AP exams in 2019: new study and assessment materials

The College Board has developed study tools and curriculum materials for teachers. This includes a library of unit-by-unit planning guides for AP classes, real exam questions, unit assessment tests, and a performance dashboard on which students and teachers can track performance on AP course materials. 

For teachers, study and assessment tools could make it easier than ever to help their students master an AP subject. For students, these resources could help keep their studying more focused during the year—increasing their understanding of the AP subject and boosting their AP exam performance at the end of the year.

[RELATED: The Ultimate Study Plan for AP Courses]

Change #2 for AP exams in 2019: new exam registration deadline

According to the College Board, high school students are more likely to take an AP exam—and to do well—if they commit to doing so at the start of the school year. For that reason, the College Board has moved its AP exam registration deadline to November. However, it suggests students decide whether or not they wish to take AP exams even earlier, by October. 

If you fail to register by November, or later change your exam selection or cancel your exam altogether, you’ll be charged a $40.00 late fee. 

[RELATED: The Top 4 Myths About AP Exams

Change #3 for AP exams in 2019: new curricula for certain AP courses

For all AP classes, you can expect the curricula to be clearer and more streamlined due to the College Board’s new AP course resources. Several popular courses, specifically AP World History and AP Biology, will also be updated.

Some major changes for the AP World History curriculum include:

  • Organization of the course into four historical periods from 1200 CE to the present

  • Organization of the course into nine units covering those four historical periods

  • Addition of a sixth theme, “Technology and Innovation”

  • A new framework outlining specific skills necessary to ace the AP World History exam

Some major changes for the AP Biology curriculum include:

  • Organization of the course into eight commonly taught biology units, including the cell cycle and ecology

  • Correspondence of the eight units with four “Big Ideas” in biology—evolution, energetics, information storage and transfer, and systems interaction

  • Better connection of learning objectives to what is taught

  • A new framework outlining specific skills necessary to ace the AP Biology exam

For a full list of AP courses, visit the College Board.  

[RELATED: What Are AP Through-Course Assessments?

Being aware of these changes and what they will mean for your AP studies can benefit your overall AP experience. If you’re on the fence about taking an AP exam next year, sit down with your school’s guidance counselor to learn about your options and to determine which academic plan is best for you.

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