Arranging and administering AP Exams outside your school
Most AP Exams are given in a school's classrooms, library, or cafeteria. Some schools test off-site in community centers, church halls, hotels, public libraries, or local colleges. See the AP Coordinator's Manual for full details on how to select and prepare testing sites.
Evaluating potential off-site testing facilities
For schools with large AP programs, off-site testing helps to not only accommodate the number of students taking a single exam but allows for the administration of concurrent exams. Once you have identified a potential facility, the first step is to guarantee that you are speaking with the key person responsible for reserving rooms to outside agencies. Other things to consider include:
- What rooms are available during specific dates?
- Are tables aligned to standards for testing available for use? If so, how far in advance may they be set up before the initial testing day? If tables are not available, can tables be brought in prior to the first testing day? Can they be left in place over the course of testing? Does the facility have chairs, or do those also need to be brought in?
- How will the facility be accessed? Will someone be there during the time when setup takes place? Is it possible to get a key to the facility? A key provides the most latitude for accessing a facility and supports implementation of custodial and test administration responsibilities.
- Are there bathrooms? Where are they located? Do they need a key?
- Is there air conditioning? Where are controls located? If the air conditioning doesn't work during the exams, is there someone to call?
- How many electrical outlets are there, and where are they located? Is there a wall clock, lecterns, microphones, or whiteboards to post information for students?
- May items such as tape recorders and CD players be stored safely within the facility? Or delivered on the day of a specific exam?
- Does the facility support special requirements needed for the world language and Music Theory exams, as well as for students with disabilities?
- Will your school be the only group using the facility during testing times? If so, will such setup arrangements create disruption for your students?
- Will any public works projects take place adjacent to the building? If the facility contact is not aware of such work, you may also call the Department of Public Works to verify that no such work will be taking place.
Off-site Exam Administration
Well in advance to the beginning of AP Exam Testing, inform parents and students of testing dates, times, and perhaps most importantly, any off-site testing locations. It is also important to clearly communicate the exact address for each testing location and to make sure that both parents and students understand that students must get to and from the testing locations on their own and that the school is not responsible for their transportation.
Utilizing off-site testing facilities not only provides a space conducive to the needs of your AP program, but it is also an opportunity to build sustaining relationships within your community. If your experience is a positive one, a thank-you note that expresses the desire to use the facility again in the upcoming school year can lay the groundwork for successful AP Exam administrations for years to come.