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We have asked teachers and other members of the AP community to provide quick answers to commonly asked questions. Clicking on a question below will take you to its answer. Please remember that some of these responses reflect a teacher's individual experience; yours may differ.

For additional information about AP policies and practices, please refer to the course descriptions and other official program documents in your discipline.

AP Central welcomes submissions of FAQs. If you have a submission of a FAQ with an answer that you would like to contribute, please contact us at FAQs@collegeboard.org.



Job Title:
AP Course/Area:
 
Questions
General
After the AP Exam is over, can I post the free-response questions on my school's Web site? What about essay questions from old exams?
Are students permitted to use their programmable or graphing calculators on the AP Exam?
Are teachers who share free-response questions and scoring guidelines downloaded from AP Central infringing on College Board's copyright?
Are the College Board and ETS part of the same organization?
Can AP teachers proctor exams?
How are the AP Calculus Exams structured?
How are the exams scored?
How can a teacher cover the entire AP Biology outline in a single year?
How do I get involved with the AP Program?
How do I order AP Exams?
How do I send an AP Grade Report to a college or university?
How does one become a Reader?
How does one determine who should be in an AP Art History class?
How expensive is the AP Biology laboratory component?
How is the final grade determined?
How many colleges accept AP grades?
How many schools and students participate in the AP Program?
I'm an AP teacher -- can I also be the AP Coordinator for my school?
If a subscriber to an online discussion group asks whether someone has the scoring guidelines for a particular exam, can I post them to the whole list?
Should students be required to keep an AP Biology laboratory book?
Should teachers do any labs other than the twelve suggested exercises?
What are the best review books available to help students study for the exam?
What does AP have to offer teachers?
What does it mean that the College Board is an "authorized provider" of IACET CEUs?
What is the AP Program?
When should exams be administered?
When will I receive the exams I ordered?
AP Physics 1: Algebra Based
Can I teach Physics B as a first-year physics course?
How can I contact other AP teachers?
I am starting an AP Physics course. What should I do now?
What laboratories should I include in my AP Physics course?
What reference materials do students have access to during the exam?
Where can I get copies of old AP Exams? Where can I get the scoring guidelines?
Art History
Are students expected to do summer reading?
Are there any good review books available?
Can a student get college credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on the AP Art History Exam?
Does the College Board offer one- or two-day AP Art History workshops?
How can I find out where College Board workshops and summer institutes will be held?
How can I help my students improve their essays?
How can I teach students how to answer the Document-Based Question (DBQ)?
How can students earn a high score on the Document-Based Question (DBQ) in the AP Exam?
How important is the study of contemporary art for success on the AP Exam?
How many exam questions are based on slides?
How should I grade students' responses to practice questions from previous AP Exams?
How should I use past AP Exam essay questions in class?
I am teaching AP Art History for the first time. How do I present my course?
I am teaching AP Art History for the first time. How should I prepare?
In what areas do students have difficulty on the AP Art History Exam?
Is there a preferred textbook for teaching the AP Art History course?
Our school has block scheduling. Can we teach AP Art History?
To what extent does the AP Art History Exam assess students' knowledge of art beyond the European tradition (non-Western art)?
What are some additional ways I can work with students to improve their essay responses?
What are some of the most common mistakes students make when writing their essays?
What are some of the skills students must have to do well on the AP Exam?
What kind of training is available for AP Art History teachers?
What words and terms are important for AP Art History students to know?
Where can I find an item analysis of the previous year's AP Exam?
Where can I find ideas for classroom activities?
Where can I get copies of old AP Exams? Where can I get the scoring guidelines?
Where can I interact with other AP Art History teachers?
Who is responsible for creating the AP Art History Exam?
Will there be changes in how art beyond the European tradition (non-Western art) fits into the AP course and on the AP Exam?
Biology
Are calculators required for the AP Biology class or the AP Biology Exam?
How can a teacher encourage more students to take the AP Exam?
How important is the lab component in the AP Biology course?
How is the AP Biology Exam constructed?
How is the AP Biology Exam graded?
How long does a student have to complete the AP Biology Exam?
How many students take the AP Biology Exam worldwide?
How much math does a student need before taking AP Biology?
How much teacher preparation time is needed for an AP Biology class?
In what year of high school should students take AP Biology?
What course prerequisites should exist for students wishing to take AP Biology?
What type of students should be encouraged to take AP Biology?
What type of textbook do you need for AP Biology?
Where is training available for new AP Biology teachers?
Calculus AB
Can a student get college credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on the AP Exam?
How can I learn more about teaching AP Calculus?
How can I review for the exams? Are there any good review books?
How is the Course Description created?
How many students take the AP Calculus Exams each year?
How much of the exam depends on calculator use?
If a choice must be made, should a student take AP Calculus or AP Statistics?
Our school has block scheduling. Can we teach AP Calculus?
What brand of calculator does the College Board recommend?
What is the AB subscore grade of the AP Calculus BC Exam?
What is the difference between AP Calculus AB and BC?
What is the most important thing a veteran AP Calculus teacher would tell a beginner?
What should students do if they make a mistake on a free-response question?
What textbook does the College Board recommend?
When is the AP Calculus Exam given?
Who writes the AP Calculus Exam questions?
Calculus BC
Are the AP Calculus BC questions on the exam harder than the AP Calculus AB questions?
Can a student get college credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on the AP Exam?
Can a student take AP Calculus BC after taking AP Calculus AB?
How can I learn more about teaching AP Calculus?
How can I review for the exams? Are there any good review books?
How is the Course Description created?
How many students take the AP Calculus Exams each year?
How much of the exam depends on calculator use?
I have a junior student in AP Calculus BC. What should this student take next year?
I hear it is easier to get a 5 on the AP Calculus BC Exam than on the AB exam. How can that be?
If a choice must be made, should a student take AP Calculus or AP Statistics?
Our school has block scheduling. Can we teach AP Calculus?
Should a student who is weak on the AP Calculus BC topics take the AP Calculus AB Exam to ensure a higher score?
What brand of calculator does the College Board recommend?
What is the AB subscore grade of the AP Calculus BC Exam?
What is the difference between AP Calculus AB and BC?
What is the most important thing a veteran AP Calculus teacher would tell a beginner?
What should students do if they make a mistake on a free-response question?
What textbook does the College Board recommend?
When is the AP Calculus Exam given?
Who writes the AP Calculus Exam questions?
Chemistry
Are students permitted to use their programmable or graphing calculators on the AP Exam?
Do students need to memorize chemistry equations for the AP Chemistry Exam?
What is the role of the laboratory in the AP Chemistry course?
What kinds of calculators can be used on the AP Chemistry Exam?
What other courses should students take before enrolling in AP Chemistry?
What reference materials are provided to students during the AP Chemistry Exam?
Comparative Government & Politics
Can students take both AP Government and Politics Exams in the same year?
Do students have to pay a separate exam fee for each AP Government and Politics Exam taken?
Where can I find recommendations for textbooks and ideas for classroom activities?
Computer Science A
Java: What compilers are available for Java, and are there any free Java compilers and environments?
Java: What hardware and software upgrades need to be completed for the switch to Java?
Java: What is the Java Case Study?
Java: What resource materials will the students be given for the Java AP CS Exam?
Java: When is the AP CS Exam switching to Java?
Java: Where can I find information about teaching AP CS in Java using Macs?
Java: Where can I find the Course Description for 2004?
Java: Where can I find the Java Marine Biology Simulation Case Study?
Java: Where can I find the Teacher's Manual for the Marine Biology Simulation Case Study?
Java:What materials do I need to teach the case study and where can I find them?
Are there any common questions on the AP CS AB Exam and the AP CS A Exam?
Can the Computer Science A and Computer Science AB Exams both be taken in the same year?
How long does the AP CS Exam take?
What is the difference between AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science AB?
What programming language is used in AP Computer Science?
English Lang & Composition
Are students expected to do summer reading?
Can a student get college credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on the AP English Language Exam?
How do the two AP English courses relate to college and university curricula?
How does one determine who should be in an AP class?
How does the AP English Language course differ from AP English Literature?
How is the AP English Language Exam scored?
How is the Course Description created?
Is there a required reading list?
May students use colored pencils or highlighters on the exam?
What is rhetorical criticism?
What kind of exam preparation should be included?
What should students do if they make a mistake while answering a free-response question?
What textbook does the College Board recommend?
When is the AP English Language administered?
Who writes the AP English Language questions?
English Lit & Composition
After the AP exam, when is it okay to discuss the poems and prose passages that were on the Multiple Choice section of the exam?
Are students expected to do summer reading?
Can a student get college credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on the AP English Literature Exam?
How are the AP English Literature Exams scored?
How can I ensure that students have the necessary skills to enroll in AP English?
How can I help students review for the exams? Are there any good review books?
How can I learn about teaching AP English Literature?
How do the two AP English courses relate to college and university curricula?
How does one become a Reader?
How does one determine who should be in an AP class?
How is the AP English Literature Exam structured?
How is the Course Description created?
How many novels and plays should an AP English Literature class cover in a year?
How many students take the AP English Literature exam each year?
Is there a required reading list?
May students use colored pencils or highlighters on the exam?
Our school has block scheduling. Can we teach AP English Literature?
What kind of exam preparation should be included?
What should students do if they make a mistake while answering a free-response question?
What textbook does the College Board recommend?
When is the AP English Literature Exam administered?
Who writes the AP English Literature questions?
Environmental Science
Are there any prerequisites for students who want to take AP Environmental Science?
Do AP Environmental Science students have to be strong in math?
Do all colleges give credit to students who earn a satisfactory grade on the AP Environmental Science Exam?
How do I find out where College Board workshops and summer institutes are to be held?
How is the AP ES Exam graded?
Is there a lab manual for required or suggested labs, such as those for AP Biology?
Is there a preferred textbook for the course?
Should students take this course before their senior year?
What is the AP Environmental Science Exam like?
What kind of lab equipment do I need to run a successful AP ES course?
What kind of students should take the AP Environmental Science (AP ES) course?
What kinds of calculators are used?
What prerequisites should a prospective student satisfy?
Where can I find review materials for the AP Environmental Science Exam?
Where can I get ideas for labs and activities for my AP Environmental Science class?
Where can I interact with other AP ES teachers?
Where can I learn more about how to teach AP ES?
European History
How does "core scoring" work for evaluating student essays on the DBQ?
What percent of the multiple-choice questions are focused on each of the AP European History themes?
Where can I find recommendations for textbooks and ideas for classroom activities?
Human Geography
Are there any prerequisites for AP Human Geography?
I'm teaching AP Human Geography for the first time. Where can I get some guidance?
Is AP Human Geography intended to be taught as a year-long or semester-long course?
What grade level is AP Human Geography taught?
What kinds of questions are on the AP Human Geography Exam?
Latin
Can students take both AP Latin Exams in the same year?
Can students take both AP Latin Exams in the same year?
Do students have to pay a separate exam fee for each Latin exam?
How do the AP Latin multiple-choice sections differ?
How do the AP Latin multiple-choice sections differ?
Macroeconomics
Can a student get college credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on the AP Exam?
Can students take both AP Economics Exams in the same year?
Can students use calculators on the AP Microeconomics Exam?
Do students have to pay a separate exam fee for each of the AP Economics Exams?
Do you have any advice on how to structure the answers to the free-response questions?
Does an AP Economics student have to be strong in math?
How are AP Economics Exams scored?
How are the AP Economics Exams structured?
How are the AP Economics Exams structured?
How can I learn more about teaching AP Economics?
How can I review for the exams? Are there any good review books?
How do I become a Reader?
How is the Course Description created?
How is the final grade determined?
How many students take the AP Economics Exams each year?
May students use colored pencils or highlighters on the exam?
Our school has block scheduling. Can we teach AP Economics?
Should a strong student take one or both of the AP Economics Exams?
What is the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics?
What is the most important thing a veteran AP Economics teacher would tell a beginner?
What should students do if they make a mistake on a free-response question?
What textbook does the College Board recommend?
When is the AP Economics Exam given?
Where can I find recommendations for textbooks and ideas for classroom activities?
Where can I interact with other AP Economics teachers?
Who writes the AP Economics Exam questions?
Why can't students use calculators on the AP Economics Exam?
Microeconomics
Can a student get college credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on the AP Exam?
Can students take both AP Economics Exams in the same year?
Can students use calculators on the AP Macroeconomics Exam?
Do students have to pay a separate exam fee for each of the AP Economics Exams?
Do you have any advice on how to structure the answers to the free-response questions?
Does an AP Economics student have to be strong in math?
How are AP Economics Exams scored?
How are the AP Economics Exams structured?
How are the AP Economics Exams structured?
How can I learn more about teaching AP Economics?
How can I review for the exams? Are there any good review books?
How do I become a Reader?
How is the Course Description created?
How is the final grade determined?
How many students take the AP Economics Exams each year?
May students use colored pencils or highlighters on the exam?
Our school has block scheduling. Can we teach AP Economics?
Should a strong student take one or both of the AP Economics Exams?
What is the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics?
What is the most important thing a veteran AP Economics teacher would tell a beginner?
What should students do if they make a mistake on a free-response question?
What textbook does the College Board recommend?
When is the AP Economics Exam given?
Where can I find recommendations for textbooks and ideas for classroom activities?
Where can I interact with other AP Economics teachers?
Who writes the AP Economics Exam questions?
Why can't students use calculators on the AP Economics Exam?
Music Theory
As a beginning teacher of AP Music Theory, how much time should I spend on ear training skills as compared to written skills?
Can AP Music Theory be taught in one year?
Can I listen to the stimulus and sight-singing samples referred to in the 2002 Course Description?
Do I need special training to teach AP Music Theory?
What is the best textbook to use when teaching AP Music Theory?
Why are there so few College Board AP Music Theory workshops?
Why don't college music departments always accept AP Music Theory Exam scores for placement or credit?
Physics C: Elec & Mag
Can I teach Physics C as a first-year physics course?
Can I teach either just AP Physics C: Mechanics or AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism as a full-year course?
Can the AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam and the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Exam both be taken in the same year?
How can I contact other AP teachers?
I am starting an AP Physics course. What should I do now?
What laboratories should I include in my AP Physics course?
What reference materials do students have access to during the exam?
Where can I get copies of old AP Exams? Where can I get the scoring guidelines?
Physics C: Mechanics
Can I teach Physics C as a first-year physics course?
Can I teach either just AP Physics C: Mechanics or AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism as a full-year course?
Can the AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam and the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Exam both be taken in the same year?
How can I contact other AP teachers?
I am starting an AP Physics course. What should I do now?
What laboratories should I include in my AP Physics course?
What reference materials do students have access to during the exam?
Where can I get copies of old AP Exams? Where can I get the scoring guidelines?
Psychology
Are there any other professional organizations that might be helpful to join?
How much inferential statistics should students know for the AP Psychology Exam?
How recent should the textbook be? What are some of the newer topics that might be included on the AP Psychology Exam?
How should essay questions used in class be scored?
I am teaching AP Psychology for the first time. What things should I do?
Is a cumulative final examination in AP Psychology helpful?
Is it important for students to have knowledge of the major perspectives or schools of thought in psychology?
Is there a division of the American Psychological Association I should belong to?
Should tests include questions from previously studied chapters?
What are some educational activities to do with students after the AP Psychology Exam?
What are some effective note-taking procedures for the AP Psychology course?
What are some more creative activities to do with students after the AP Psychology Exam?
What are some organizations specifically designed for high school psychology teachers that I should belong to?
What common errors do students make on the essay section of the AP Psychology Exam?
What kind of descriptive statistics should students know for the AP Psychology Exam?
What kind of timed tests can a teacher give to prepare students for the AP Psychology Exam?
What topics in the early history of psychology are important to know for the AP Psychology Exam?
What words/terms are important for AP Psychology students to know?
Which terms/concepts are often confused or used incorrectly by AP Psychology students when writing an essay about learning?
Which terms/concepts are often confused or used incorrectly by AP Psychology students when writing an essay about research methods?
Spanish Language and Culture
Are heritage speakers graded differently or separately from other speakers of Spanish?
Are students at a disadvantage if they live in an area where there are almost no speakers of Spanish and no contact with Spanish outside of the classroom?
Are there any prerequisites for students who want to take the AP Spanish Language course and exam?
Are there special arrangements made for hearing or sight impaired students?
In the listening portion of the exam, how many times do students hear the short dialogues or short narratives?
In the longer selection of the listening portion of the exam, should students take notes in Spanish or English?
In the speaking portion of the exam on the directed responses, what happens if the student does not finish before the 20 second period ends?
In the speaking portion of the exam on the directed responses, what happens if the student finishes his response before the 20 second interval ends?
In the speaking portion of the exam on the picture sequence exercise, how should students identify the picture they are talking about?
In the written portion of the exam, do accents count? Does spelling count?
Is it a good idea to encourage heritage speakers to take the exam without taking the course or getting any other preparation?
On either part of the speaking section, should students correct themselves if they hear themselves make a mistake?
On the composition, is a minimum number of words required?
We don't have a language laboratory. What options do we have for administering the speaking sections of the exam?
What prerequisites should a student have to take for the AP Spanish Language course?
Why should heritage speakers of Spanish take the AP Spanish Language course or exam?
Spanish Literature and Culture
How can we cover so many authors on the reading list?
How is language usage graded on the AP Spanish Literature exam?
Is it acceptable to read modernized or condensed versions of works on the reading list?
Is it expected that students do summer reading for the AP Spanish Literature course?
Many of my students are heritage speakers of Spanish. Why should they take this course?
On the poetry question, will the poem or poet be familiar to the students?
On the thematic essays, how should students best compare and contrast the various works they are discussing?
Should students use citations in their essays on the exam?
We read very carefully in my classes. How can we possibly read all of the texts in a single year?
What are some of the most common mistakes students make in the writing of their essays?
What are the prerequisites for the AP Spanish Literature course? Should students take the language course before the literature course?
What happens if a student does not know a certain vocabulary word that appears in the poem?
Statistics
Are there any good review books available?
Can AP Statistics be taught in one semester (block scheduling)?
Hands-on activities are a regular part of my classroom, but I always like trying new things. Are activities and applets available on the Internet?
How do other teachers review for the exam?
Is there a condensed version of the mathematical/statistical theory that supports the materials we teach?
The syllabus contains the topic of power. Will students have to calculate power on the exam?
What can I do if the college a student wants to attend does not currently give college credit for AP Statistics?
What can I tell my students to help them prepare for answering free-response questions that require the use of a calculator?
What colleges are currently accepting AP Statistics for college credit?
What do experienced teachers do in class AFTER the exam?
What is the AP Statistics discussion mailing list and how do I subscribe?
What is the difference between pooled and un-pooled two-sample testing procedures? Which do I use?
What resources are available to learn more about the content the Course Description covers?
Why do you divide by n-1 instead of n when calculating the sample standard deviation?
Studio Art: 2-D Design Portfolio
Can a student submit the same work, or different slides of the same work, in more than one section of the portfolio?
Can the requirement for Section III (Breadth) be met with work in a single medium?
Does the student's AP # have to be written on each slide?
How should the slides be inserted in the slide sheets?
If my students' work bridges the territory covered by 2-D design and drawing, which of those two portfolios should the students submit?
What is the minimum number of works required in a Concentration?
What should happen when the AP Studio Art materials arrive at school?
When and how can teachers get the 2001-02 AP Studio Art poster?
When should a second view of a work or a detail slide be included?
Which portfolio should my students submit if their work consists of drawings, sculpture, and 2-D design?
Why can't videotapes, animation, or other time-based media be submitted?
Why is the AP Studio Art Poster so useful?
Studio Art: 3-D Design Portfolio
Can a student submit the same work, or different slides of the same work, in more than one section of the portfolio?
Can the requirement for Section III (Breadth) be met with work in a single medium?
Does the student's AP # have to be written on each slide?
How can I tell whether my student's work fits in the 3-D portfolio?
How should the slides be inserted in the slide sheets?
If my students' work bridges the territory covered by 2-D design and drawing, which of those two portfolios should the students submit?
What is the minimum number of works required in a Concentration?
What should happen when the AP Studio Art materials arrive at school?
When and how can teachers get the 2001-02 AP Studio Art poster?
When should a second view of a work or a detail slide be included?
Which portfolio should my students submit if their work consists of drawings, sculpture, and 2-D design?
Why can't videotapes, animation, or other time-based media be submitted?
Why is the AP Studio Art Poster so useful?
Studio Art: Drawing Portfolio
Can a student submit the same work, or different slides of the same work, in more than one section of the portfolio?
Can the requirement for Section III (Breadth) be met with work in a single medium?
Does the student's AP # have to be written on each slide?
If my students' work bridges the territory covered by 2-D design and drawing, which of those two portfolios should the students submit?
What is the minimum number of works required in a Concentration?
What should happen when the AP Studio Art materials arrive at school?
When and how can teachers get the 2001-02 AP Studio Art poster?
Which portfolio should my students submit if their work consists of drawings, sculpture, and 2-D design?
Why can't videotapes, animation, or other time-based media be submitted?
Why is the AP Studio Art Poster so useful?
U.S. Government & Politics
Can students take both AP Government and Politics Exams in the same year?
Do students have to pay a separate exam fee for each AP Government and Politics Exam taken?
Where can I find recommendations for textbooks and ideas for classroom activities?
U.S. History
Are all high school students eligible to take the AP United States History Exam? Should I limit enrollment in my course?
As a teacher, where can I find help and get my questions answered?
Has the format of the Document-Based Question (DBQ) recently changed?
How can I discuss everything I need to cover in order to prepare my students for the AP U.S. History Exam?
I am new to AP U.S. History. How do I begin to teach the course?
In what chronological period will the Document-Based Question (DBQ) fall?
Is there a particular textbook that I should use for teaching the AP U.S. History course?
What are the new themes for AP U.S. History? How will they change how I teach the course?
What is the difference between the Document-Based Questions (DBQs) found on the AP World History Exam and the AP United States History Exam?
What skills do students need to succeed on the AP U.S. History Exam?
Where can I find recommendations for textbooks and ideas for classroom activities?
Who is responsible for creating the AP U.S. History Exam?
Why did the AP U.S. History Development Committee end the practice of announcing the 50-year time period for the DBQ?
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