Challenging yourself in high school by taking rigorous courses such as AP classes is a great way to prepare for college. These courses allow you to take an exam toward the end of the year that may lead to college credit.
With that in mind, knowing the AP test registration process early in the school year will ensure that you meet all of the deadlines.
AP Test Registration Changes
Prior to the 2018-2019 school year, the College Board, which owns the AP program, used an AP test registration process that’s been in place for years. But now, for the 2019-2020 school year, the process, including the AP registration deadline for 2019, is changing.
Students needing to meet the AP registration deadline for 2019, will now need to sign-up for their exams toward the beginning of the school year by November 15. This is a drastic change from the AP test sign-up 2018 that allowed students to register later in the year, closer to March, and closer to the actual AP exams in May.
Additionally, the late fee for missing the AP exam registration for 2019 is now $40. Add that to the exam fee of $94, and you could be looking at $134 to take one AP exam.
AP Test Registration Process
Since the AP registration deadline for 2019 is shortly after school starts, it’s important to follow the specific steps set forth by the College Board. The first thing you will want to do is create a College Board account online if you don’t already have one.
As soon as your account is active, the next step is to join your class selection online. You can do this anytime after August 1, 2019. However, you will need a join code from your school for each course, so you may have to wait until school starts to begin this process.
Once you have the join code for each AP test you plan to take, you can join a course online. Make sure to double check all of the information to ensure you’re signing up for the right class and date of the exam. You may be asked to provide additional information, so allow enough time to complete this step.
Confirm Your AP Test Registration
All AP exams take place over two weeks in May. Your school will set the exact dates of each test. While in your profile, you’ll need to click the “Registration” button to let your school know you plan on taking the exam.
If you plan on taking multiple AP exams and the test dates or times conflict with each other, talk to your AP coordinator about how to work this out. They will work with the College Board to get you a spot in one of the late testing groups.
It’s important to note that you can still take an AP class at your high school and not take the exam. You can also take an AP exam without taking an AP course. However, taking an exam without proper preparation is not recommended.
After you register for each test, it’s time to pay the exam fees. You can do this at your high school. But make sure to check-in with your AP coordinator or teacher after you register online to find out how and where to pay your fees.
Special Circumstances for AP Exams
If you cannot pay the $94 exam fee for each AP test, and you have significant financial need, you may be eligible for assistance. The College Board provides a $32 fee reduction per AP exam for students who demonstrate significant financial need.
Additionally, your school may offer financial assistance for AP exam fees. Talk to the AP coordinator at your school to find out more information about the College Board financial assistance program or any other need-based programs.
Sara Lindberg, B.S., M.Ed., is a freelance writer focusing on adolescent and teenage development, secondary education, and higher education. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in exercise science and a Master's of Education degree in counseling.