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2024 AP Test Changes: What You Need to Know

By Cece Gilmore

Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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Edited by Maria Geiger

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Updated: April 11th, 2024
2024 AP Test Changes: What You Need to Know

The AP Exams are going through some major changes for the 2024 year! Hint about the biggest change: The AP Exam format has now entered the computer age! Keep reading below to learn what is different and how to prepare for the new AP Exams! 

Digital change

The biggest change happening to the 2024 AP Tests is that now school districts have the ability to choose if they will administer their AP Exams in the traditional way  like (paper exam) or if they will administer the exams digitally. The digital option is available to schools in the 48 contiguous states and Washington D.C. 

Digital AP Exams will be proctored and administered in school following the same schedule as paper exams. The digital AP Exam will be administered by the Bluebook testing app which is compatible with many devices such as Chromebooks, Windows and Mac laptops and iPads. Students are able to choose whatever device they want to take the exam. Bluebook allows students to highlight text, make annotations, move back and forth between questions within the same section and you can set up any special accommodations such as extra time or breaks within the app. 

It is important to remember that the digital exam format is completely optional for this year. Therefore, schools make decisions and choose themselves whether to offer digital, paper or a combination of paper and digital. 


With AP testing staring in just one month, make sure you know everything there is to know about this years changes to the AP Test!! #scholarships360 #scholarship #student #education #highschool #ap #aptest #apush

♬ original sound – scholarships360

Related: Ultimate guide to self-studying AP Exams

Paper vs Digital AP Exams 

  • Digital exams, like paper exams, will be proctored and administered in a school environment 
  • Digital exams will include the same number of sections, type of questions, question choice and timing as the paper exams 
  • Students can go back in a section or complete previous questions 
  • Digital exams require the same number of proctors as paper exams and have the same seating requirements 

Also see: Why you should take advanced placement exams 

Pros and cons of AP digital exams 

Pros of AP digital examsCons of AP digital exams 
Writing essays can be completed more efficiently and making changes is easier than crossing things out or erasing thingsTechnical difficulties can occur such as poor connection or device issues 
Avoids paper wasteExtended screen time can have negative effects such as eye strain or headaches
Increases inclusivity and accessibilityGreater risk of temptation of cheating 

Related: How many AP classes should you take in high school? 

DBQ change

There has been a major rubric change in the AP history test document-based question (DBQ) portion of the exam. In previous years for the DBQ section of the AP exam, students would need to use 6 documents, explain the audience, purpose, context or point of view (APCP) of a document 3 times and connect the topic to another historical event in order to receive all 7 points available. With the new change, now it is required to use 4 documents instead of 6 and 2 APCPs instead of 3 with alternative pathways to obtain a complexity point including writing a historical connection, explaining 4 APCPs or using all 7 documents. 
These differences are broken down in the chart below: 

Old DBQ RubricNew DBQ Rubric 
– 6 documents 
– APCP of a document 3 times
– Complexity point = connect the topic to another historical event 
– 4 documents
– APCP of a document 2 times 
– Complexity point = writing a historical connection, explaining 4 ACPCs or using all 7 documents 

Also see: Easiest AP classes you can take

Exam pricing change

The base exam fee for AP tests is increasing by $1 for the 2024 AP Exam year. The following are the prices for the 2024 AP tests: 

  • $98 per exam – for schools in the U.S., U.S. territories, Canada and all DoDEA schools
  • $128 per exam – for schools outside of the U.S., U.S. territories and Canada with the exception of DoDEA schools 
  • $146 per exam – for AP Capstone (AP Seminar or AP research) 

The College Board fee reduction amount is increasing to $36 per exam for eligible students (it was previously $35). 

The late-order and late-testing fee will remain the same at $40 per exam in addition to the base exam fee. 

Check out: How do you pay for AP Exams? 

Upcoming changes for 2025

In 2025, 9 AP Exams will go fully digital, meaning there will be no paper version of these exams unless students have approved accommodations requiring paper testing. 

Here is a list of the digital AP Exams for 2025: 

  • AP African American Studies
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP English Language and Composition 
  • AP English Literature and Composition 
  • AP European History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP United States History
  • AP World History: Modern 

Also see: How to study for AP Exams

Expected changes for 2026

The College Board will announce each year which exams will go digital but they are expecting the following exams to be all digital in 2026: 

  • AP Art History
  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Latin
  • AP United States Government and Politics 

It is important to note that this list is subject to change and you should visit the College Board’s official website for any official announcements regarding the May 2026 digital AP Exams. 

Related: Which AP classes are the hardest? 

Exam Dates 

AP Exams will be administered in schools during the first two weeks of May. A late-testing window is available May 17-19 if students cannot test during the first two weeks of May. 

DateMorning Session (8 a.m.) Afternoon Session (12 p.m.) 
May 6, 2024United States Government and PoliticsArt History
May 7, 2024Human Geography
May 8, 2024English Literature and CompositionComparative Government and Politics
Computer Science A 
May 9, 2024Chinese Language and Culture
Environmental Science 
May 10, 2024European History
United States History
Spanish Literature and Culture
May 13, 2024Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Italian Language and Culture 
May 14, 2024English Language and Composition African American Studies
Physics C: Mechanics
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism (2 p.m.)
May 15, 2024French Language and Culture
World History: Modern
Computer Science Principles
Music Theory
May 16, 2024Spanish Language and CultureBiology
Japanese Language and Culture
May 17, 2024German Language and Culture
Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Physics 2: Algebra-Based

Also see: Understanding your AP scores

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • The 2024 AP Exams can be administered on paper or digitally by school districts 
  • Digital AP Exams will have the same format and rules as their corresponding paper exams 
  • Bluebook is the testing app used by the College Board to administer the digital AP Exams 
  • There is a major change in the AP history rubric resulting in less requirements for a perfect score on the DBQ section of the exam
  • There is a $1 price increase for AP Exams 
  • In 2025, 9 AP Exams will be fully digital meaning there will be no paper version
Key Takeaways

Frequently asked questions about the AP test changes

Will the digital AP Exams have the same format as the paper exams?

Yes! The digital AP Exams will have the same number of sections, number and type of questions, timing, and question choice as the corresponding paper exams.

Will students be able to go back in the multiple-choice and free-response sections?

Students will be able to go back within a section or part (multiple choice/short answer or free response) to review and answer questions. However, similar to the paper exam, students may not return to parts within a section that have already been completed.

Will there be a limitation on how long a student’s free-response or short-answer question responses can be in the digital AP Exam?

The digital exam does not have a limit to the number of characters or words that a student can enter in their response.

What devices can students take the digital AP Exam on?

Students can take AP Exams on personal and school-managed Windows and Mac laptops and desktops, school-managed Chromebooks and personal and school-managed iPads and Windows tablets with physical keyboards.

Can some students take the digital version while others take the paper version of an AP Exam?

Yes. However, students must test in separate rooms using separate proctors. This is because digital and paper exams have different instructions and exam day procedures.

Will the digital AP Exams start automatically or will schools manage the start time?

Proctors will have control of the exact exam start time just as they do with paper exams.

How do proctors administer digital AP Exams?

Proctors use the Test Day Toolkit web application provided by the College Board. The app walks proctors through exam day step-by-step and displays the script they read aloud as well as the codes students use to start testing.

Do students need headphones, mics, or webcams for the digital AP Exam?

Audio is not used in the student testing app. Students may not use headphones or mics unless required for an approved testing accommodation. Webcams are not required; however, if testing devices have them they do not need to be disabled.

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