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Important Changes: 2015-16

AP Program Updates

Exam Fees for 2016

The fee is now $92 per exam in the United States, U.S. territories, and Canada. The fee is now $122 per exam at schools outside the U.S., U.S. territories, and Canada (with the exception of DoDDS schools). The per-exam rebate that schools can retain to offset exam administration costs remains $9. The exam fee varies for College Board–authorized testing centers outside the United States.

Mandatory AP Exam Seating Charts

As of the May 2015 AP Exam administration, all schools must complete a seating chart for every exam they administer and retain it for at least six months. Schools may use either the 11-digit serial number of the exam booklets or students’ full names on the seating charts. Complete details and a sample seating chart can be found in the 2015-16 AP Coordinator's Manual.

AP Exam Reading Periods

Eight AP Exams – Biology, English Language and Composition, European History, Latin, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, United States History, and World History – have a 10- or 15-minute reading period in Section II (free response) that provides students with the opportunity to read the exam questions and any related sources and documents and plan their responses.

  • This time is part of the overall Section II timing and must be given to students.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of this time, which is designed to help them develop better-organized, higher-scoring responses; however, they are permitted to begin writing their responses before the reading period is over.

Incident Report for Extra Paper

As of the May 2015 AP Exam administration, an Incident Report must be completed if any student requires extra paper to complete the short-answer part and/or free-response section of an exam. This will help to ensure that exams with extra paper are processed correctly at the AP Reading. A school may submit a single IR for multiple students per exam subject per exam administration (regular or late testing) as long as all of the required information is provided. Complete details are available in the Administration Incidents table in the 2015-16 AP Coordinator's Manual (available soon).

Free Practice Exams

New practice exams in 16 AP subjects are now available to AP teachers via the AP Course Audit website. These are complete versions of the exams that were administered internationally in 2015 and feature a multiple-choice answer key, free-response scoring guidelines, and a scoring worksheet.

AP Music Theory

Beginning with the May 2016 AP Music Theory Exam administration, students’ sight-singing responses may be submitted digitally via an online application that will replace submission of responses on CD. Cassette tapes will continue to be an option for submitting students’ responses. There will be no changes to the AP Music Theory course, exam, exam administration, or digital recording methods. Visit the Coordinating the Exam page for more information.

Redesigned AP Courses and Exams

The redesigned courses and exams in AP Art History and AP European History launch this year. Visit AP Central® for important information and resources for these courses.

Art History

The redesigned course is equivalent to a two-semester introductory college course and offers teachers the flexibility to tailor instruction to meet the needs and interests of their students. The course limits the required course content to 250 diverse works of art to promote in-depth learning, underscoring the exam’s focus on assessing students’ in-depth critical analysis of relationships among works of art, art historical concepts, and global cultures. Beginning with the 2016 exam:

  • The AP Art History Exam will no longer have Parts A and B for Sections I and II. The total standard time for the exam remains 3 hours, with 1 hour for Section I and 2 hours for Section II.
  • The exam materials for the AP Art History Exam will no longer include an orange booklet for Section I; they will only include an orange booklet for Section II.

European History

The redesigned course is structured around the investigation of five course themes and 19 key concepts in four different chronological periods, from approximately 1450 to the present. The course allows students to spend more time learning essential concepts and developing necessary historical thinking skills by focusing on a limited number of key concepts. Beginning with the 2016 exam, Section I, Part A (Multiple Choice) will be 55 minutes long; Section I, Part B (Short-Answer Questions) will be 50 minutes long; Section II (Free Response) will be 1 hour and 30 minutes long; and the standard total time for the exam will be 3 hours and 15 minutes. In the redesigned exam, all multiple-choice questions will be grouped in sets that are linked to historical source material. There will be new short-answer questions that ask students to respond to historical source material or historical questions.

Other Course and Exam Changes

Computer Science A

Beginning with the 2016 exam, the multiple-choice section of the AP Computer Science A Exam will be 1 hour and 30 minutes, an increase of 15 minutes from the 2015 exam. The free-response section will be 1 hour and 30 minutes, a decrease of 15 minutes from the 2015 exam. The standard total time for the exam will remain at 3 hours.

AP Research

This fall, the AP Research course launches at more than 130 participating schools worldwide as the second course in the AP Capstone™ program. For more information about AP Research and AP Capstone, visit

Customized Entry Pages


  • AP Services
  • P.O. Box 6671
  • Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6671
  • Phone: 877-274-6474 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 212-632-1781
  • Email:

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