An update on standardized testing – FAQ

Testing information for AP, IB, MSTEP, PSAT, SAT and ACT


Clara Bowman, News Editor

All face-to-face instruction is suspended for the school year, and with that, all face-to-face standardized testing is canceled as well. This includes state-mandated tests that are required for graduation. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams that can grant students college credit have been restructured or canceled as well. 


State Standardized Tests

  • Will juniors still be able to take the SAT? The PSAT for younger grades?

Yes. In accordance with the executive order signed on April 2, current juniors will have the opportunity to take a state-sponsored SAT in October. Grades slated to take a PSAT will be able to do so at this time as well.

  • Will third-graders be held back for not demonstrating literacy on the M-STEP?

No. The M-STEP will not take place this year, so the new law holding back third graders below benchmark reading ability will not be enacted. 


AP Exams

  • How will AP exams function this year?

College Board has moved all Advanced Placement exams to an online format. Each will take approximately 45 minutes.

  • How will AP exam questions be formatted?

All AP exams will consist only of free response questions (FRQs). Most exams will contain one to two questions similar to FRQs typically found on the exam. Additionally, each exam will NOT include material that is generally covered at the end of the year, after early March. Click here to see for the exact format and content of your AP test.

  • When will AP exams take place?

Exams will occur May 11-22, one week later than original testing dates, with make-up dates from June 1-5. Not all exams are simply pushed back one week. View the updated schedule here.

  • What precautions will be taken to minimize cheating?

Exams will be open note/book and questions are designed to test students’ understanding of a subject, not information recall. College Board will use a “range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software and post-administration analytics, to protect the integrity of the exams.” All responses will also be sent to the students’ teachers to verify that the work is the students’ own.

All exams will take place at the same time around the world, and students will have a finite window to complete all tasks. This is to minimize collaboration with others during the test, which is not permitted. Any student found trying to gain an unfair advantage will have their scores canceled and possibly be prohibited from taking future College Board exams (including AP Tests, SAT and SAT Subject Tests). If cheating is suspected, College Board will also notify high schools and potentially any college to which the student previously sent scores from any College Board test.

  • Will AP Test Scores still get me college credit?

Most likely. In an April 3 update, College Board said that it is “confident that the vast majority of higher education institutions will award credit as they have in the past.” They communicated with hundreds of institutions to determine this, however, the status of credit receival is subject to change. 

  • Can I cancel my test?

Yes. Any and all AP tests can be canceled for a full refund.


IB Exams

  • Will IB exams take place?

No. For the first time in history, all IB exams have been canceled.

  • Will I still get scores?

Yes. IBO will calculate scores based on students’ coursework and predicted scores.

  • Am I still eligible for a diploma/certificate?

Yes. All DP and CP students will be eligible for diplomas/certificates. Diplomas will be awarded to students based on their calculated scores discussed in the previous scores.

  • Do I still have to complete IB coursework?

Yes. All Internal and External Assessments factored into the IB score must be completed. There is currently no extension for these tasks. Additionally, all coursework will be assessed externally, including items that are typically graded internally by teachers.