AP Exams Going Digital: What's New in 2024?

10/07/20247 minute read
AP Exams Going Digital: What's New in 2024?

The College Board has made a significant shift recently by introducing digital AP exams. While the paper and digital options are both offered for now, starting from May 2025, some AP tests will only be available in a digital format.

So, which AP exams are digital in 2024 and beyond? Let’s take a look at all the different AP exams and the formats in 2024, 2025 and onwards.

Which AP Exams Are Digital?

Some exams have been offered digitally since 2024 or earlier, with a paper and pen option.

The following AP exams are digital as of 2024:

If a school is administering both digital and pen and paper formats, students taking each format will take their AP exam separately, in different rooms since they’ll have different instructions and exam day procedures.

From 2025 onwards, the following AP exams are going fully digital and won’t be offered in a paper and pen format anymore:

  • AP African American Studies (first year this exam is available to all U.S. schools)
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP European History
  • AP Psychology (first year this exam is offered in digital format)
  • AP Seminar
  • AP United States History 
  • AP World History: Modern

Now That AP Exams are Going Digital, What’s The Difference? 

Besides the fact that the exam is taken digitally, there are very little differences between the paper and digital formats.

The purpose of the shift to digital is to provide a more flexible and efficient way for students to take their exams.

1. The questions are the same

The AP Program uses psychometric equating and linking methods for every version of the exam, whether paper or digital, to determine the specific difficulty level and adjust the cut score (the number of points needed) to achieve a score of 3 or higher.

The digital exams will still cover the same content, with the same questions, sections, and duration.

2. The schedule and timing are the same

Currently, not all schools provide Digital AP exams.

However, as more AP exams become available digitally - especially when some exams go fully digital - they will likely be offered in the same locations and with the same frequency as they replace paper exams.

3. The accommodations are the same:

Many accommodations work the same for digital and paper AP exams.

Any approved accommodations you’re provided for the paper and pen exam typically carry over to a digital format, and you won’t need to make a separate request for your accommodations.

For example, students approved for extended time will get the same extended time on their digital exam.

You can make separate accommodation requests for an accessible version of AP digital exam, such as braille or assistive technology.

How Does The Digital Exam Work?

While the content of the exams are the same, the procedures and of course, the format, is different. Here’s how the digital AP exams work:

1. Device Requirements

Students will need a computer or tablet that meets the College Board’s specifications. This is generally provided by the school administering the exam, but personal devices might be allowed as well.

Chromebooks, iPads, and other tablets are acceptable as long as they meet the technical requirements.

2. Exam Application

Your exam proctors will instruct you to open Bluebook and to sign in to your College Board account. From there, you’ll check-in and begin your exam.

When you begin the exam, your device will lock automatically, preventing switching tabs. As part of the exam policy, you won’t be allowed to navigate to any other application, program or website during the exam (unless you're approved to use assistive technology beforehand).

3. Prohibited Items

A keyboard, a mouse, and charging cables are allowed. However, any other electronic items, such as a smartwatch, phone, tablet, or earphones are not allowed unless you receive prior accommodations from the College Board or testing center.

4. Submitting Answers

All answers will be submitted electronically. After the exam, students will receive a confirmation that their answers have been successfully submitted.

You can go back within a section or part to review or complete previous questions. Just like with the paper exam, you can’t return to parts within a section that has already been completed.

When the timer of the exam runs out, the test will automatically close and you won’t be able to submit any answers - so it’s important to practice for the exam under real testing conditions to learn how to manage your time effectively!

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Final Thoughts

The move to digital AP exams marks a progressive step forward in educational assessment. With careful preparation and a clear understanding of the exam process, you can approach their digital AP exams confidently, knowing they are well-prepared to showcase their academic achievements.

If you’re looking for the perfect score, our expert tutors can help - some of the best teachers in the world tutor at Crimson! Get in touch with us to get started.