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College Board Changes for Advanced Placement (AP) Courses and Exams

2019-2020 Changes Involve New Registration Processes


With course selection for the 2019-2020 school year approaching, the College Board has made some changes regarding Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams that involve new classroom resource availability, along with new registration and ordering processes.


Beginning in August 2019, teachers and students will complete a short digital activation process at the start of the school year which will provide access to new classroom resources such as a question bank, unit guides, personal progress checks, and a performance dashboard.


With the introduction of the new student and teacher resources, College Board is moving the AP Exam registration and ordering timeline from the spring to the fall for the 2019-2020 school year. Therefore, students enrolled in an AP course who want to participate in the AP exams in May 2020 will register, pay, and commit to taking the exam in October 2019. There will be additional fees for each exam ordered after the final deadline in the fall and for any exam that is ordered but not taken.


School coordinators will order exams following the new fall deadlines and based on the rosters created through the online registration. School coordinators will also receive personalized AP ID registration labels that will be used to connect students’ exam materials with their registration information. This eliminates bubbling information circles on the exam and pre-administration sessions.


Key steps to follow after the new system opens on August 1, 2019:

  1. The school coordinator will activate the online system to allow teachers to have access.
  2. School coordinator/teachers will create class sections in the system.
  3. Students will enroll in the class sections, indicating registration to participate in May 2020 exams.
  4. School coordinator will finalize the exam order in the system.


Why move registration and ordering to the fall? Early commitment to take an AP exam will focus learning on the long-range outcome. Moving the decision to take the exam toward the start of the AP course will benefit students and boost the learning culture in AP classrooms. When students commit to the exam from day one, they invest themselves in their classes, partnering with their teacher and classmates to do the daily work necessary to earn a score on the AP exam that qualifies for college credit and/or placement.


Research from schools requiring students to make exam-taking decisions in the fall report shows that AP-ready students are more likely to earn a score of 3 or higher; students take AP courses at the same rates as students at schools that require exam-taking decisions later in the year; however, they are more likely to take the exam; and educators report seeing increased engagement from students who are “in it to win it” from the start of the course.


Students enrolling in AP courses for the 2019-2020 school year should be prepared for the new October 2019 registration and payment with early commitment to participate in the May 2020 exams. For additional information, visit College Board AP Central.


Published 2/15/19