Advanced Placement (AP) exams are administered as the school year closes out, usually in the beginning of May. They represent your chance to showcase your mastery of college-level material, not only offering the prospect of earning college credit, but also standing as a testament to your academic dedication. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what to expect and how to prepare effectively.

AP Exam Schedule

Taking an AP exam can be both daunting and exhilarating. To begin, ensure you’re aware of the exams you’re signed up for. If uncertain, reach out to your school counselor or AP coordinator for clarification.

Next, check the AP exam schedule to determine when you are taking each exam and make sure there are no conflicts. If there is, reach out to your AP coordinator to order alternate (late-testing) exams. The exams are administered across two weeks at two time blocks – the first starting at 8am local time, and the second starting at 12pm local time (two exceptions to this is that the Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism test starts at 2pm local time, and AP Art and Design students have until 8pm ET to submit their AP Digital Portfolio).

Here is the schedule for AP exams in 2024:

Week 1Morning 8 a.m.
Local Time
Afternoon 12 p.m.
Local Time
May 6, 2024
United States Government and PoliticsArt History
May 7, 2024
Human Geography
May 8, 2024
English Literature and CompositionComparative Government and Politics
Computer Science A
May 9, 2024
Chinese Language and Culture
Environmental Science
May 10, 2024
European History
United States History
Spanish Literature and Culture

Note: Art and Design: Friday, May 10, 2024 (8 p.m. ET), is the deadline for AP Art and Design students to submit their three portfolio components as final in the AP Digital Portfolio.

Week 2Morning 8 a.m.
Local Time
Afternoon 12 p.m.
Local Time
Afternoon 2 p.m.
Local Time
May 13, 2024
Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Italian Language and Culture
May 14, 2024
English Language and CompositionAfrican American Studies
Physics C: Mechanics
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
May 15, 2024
French Language and Culture
World History: Modern
Computer Science Principles
Music Theory
May 16, 2024
Spanish Language and CultureBiology
Japanese Language and Culture
May 17, 2024
German Language and Culture
Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Physics 2: Algebra-Based

Preparing for Success: The Week Leading Up to the Exam

As the exam date draws nearer, it’s time to hone your study plan and incorporate mindfulness exercises into your routine. Hopefully the school year’s worth of teaching and preparation, as well as additional studying, has made you feel confident in the topics. This last week leading up to the exam should (hopefully) not be a period where you’re learning new material. Cramming a week before the exam will likely not lead to the best results and will induce a lot of stress. 

So assuming you’ve spent the time to adequately study and prepare for the AP test… what’s left is taking care of your mental and physical state the week leading up to the test. This is extremely important as a big part of taking exams is purely mental. You want to create the right environment – mentally and physically – where you can perform your best and let your year of learning and studying shine through. 

Here’s a breakdown of what to focus on each day of the week leading up to your AP exam:

  • 7 Days Out: Start by reviewing the material systematically. Organize your notes, textbooks, and review guides. Determine what areas are still challenging for you, and any last-minute facts or formulas that you need to memorize.
  • 6 Days Out: Dive deeper into challenging topics. Be sure you understand the concept and theory in its entirety. Allocate more time to subjects or concepts that you find particularly difficult. Don’t hesitate to seek clarification from teachers or peers if needed. 
  • 5 Days Out: Begin practicing with past exam questions or sample tests. This will familiarize you with the exam format and help you gauge your readiness. Pay attention to time management during these practice sessions.
  • 4 Days Out: Keep the momentum going by maintaining a consistent study schedule. Take short breaks between study sessions to recharge and avoid burnout. Focus on reinforcing key concepts rather than trying to cover everything.
  • 3 Days Out: Incorporate mindfulness exercises into your routine to alleviate stress and maintain focus. Consider activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or going for a walk in nature.
  • 2 Days Out: Review your study materials but also take time to relax and unwind. Avoid cramming or introducing new material at this stage. Trust in the preparation you’ve done so far.
  • 1 Day Before: Take it easy. Engage in light review, but prioritize getting enough rest and relaxation. Avoid any activities that may induce stress or anxiety. Ensure you have all the necessary materials ready for exam day.

On exam day, arriving early for check-in is essential to avoid any last-minute stress. The structure and length of each exam vary, so familiarize yourself with the specifics of the exam you’ll be taking. This understanding will help you manage your time efficiently during the test.

What Happens After the Exam?

Once the exam is over, take a moment to celebrate your hard work. Scores are typically released in July, and you can access them online. Depending on your score and college preferences, you may choose to send your scores to colleges for credit or placement. Your school’s guidance counselor can assist you with this process if needed.

By following these guidelines and staying focused, you can approach your AP exams with confidence and maximize your chances of success. Good luck!

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About The Author

Andie Pinga is an expert SoFlo tutor and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Anthropology. She scored a 35 on her ACT and enjoys rock climbing and playing the guitar.

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