Bothell’s 2021 AP Testing Plans

Source: Carla Moren, retrieved from

Source: Carla Moren, retrieved from

Plans for this year’s AP exams have been announced and finalized at Bothell High School. The College Board has announced that exams this year will be full length and cover the full scope of AP curriculum. School administrators may choose between three different plans of test administration for their school’s students. These plans being either fully online testing, fully in-person testing, or mixed online and in-person testing. 

Bothell administrators and administrators throughout the Northshore School District have chosen to hold all AP exams online this exam season. A few subjects, however, such as AP Music Theory or any AP world language, do not have the option for online testing and must still be administered in-person. For this reason, the College Board recognizes that students who plan on taking a test that requires in-person administration may have to coordinate and take the test at a different school that has plans to administer tests in-person. 

That being said, the vast majority of Bothell’s AP students will be taking all of their tests online this year. Unlike last year, it will not be possible to take exams on a tablet or mobile device –the 2021 exams must be taken on a laptop or desktop computer. The exams will not require continuous wi-fi connection this year, however, they will still require students to download some type of lockdown browser prior to testing. The exact browser application has yet to be announced. 

BHS AP Exam Schedule

Bothell High School’s 2021 AP Exam Schedule. Source: BHS AP Department

Online AP exams come with a couple of caveats. The first being that all online exams for each subject will start at the same time globally. This could pose a problem for international students who may have to test at unfavorable times. The second, and more relevant to Bothell, is that the College Board has stated that it will “not allow students to return to answered questions or move back-and-forth between unanswered questions” on online exams. This feature is meant to promote the integrity of the exams. Likewise, the College Board has expressed plans to use unspecified “security features to prevent students from collaborating, accessing unauthorized aids, or attempting to have someone else test for them” and declared that exams will “be reviewed with plagiarism detection software and other monitors and post-exam analyses for detecting exam violations”.  

The College Board has also revealed plans to allow students to familiarize themselves with the exam format before the test date. They announced that “beginning in April, students and educators can access the exam application and a digital exam practice resource that enables students to confirm the viability of their technology well before test day, experience the exam day flow, and practice answering exam questions, including each type of multiple-choice and free-response question they’ll encounter on exam day”. 

Note: This article details the plans for AP testing prior to Governor Inslee’s back-to-school mandate on March 12th. Now that it is confirmed Bothell students will be going back to school this year these plans may be subject to change.