Administering AP Exams outside your school
For schools with large AP programs, off-site testing is a way to accommodate a larger number of students taking a single exam and allows for the simultaneous administration of multiple exams.
Some schools test in community centers, church halls, hotels, public libraries, or local colleges. See the AP Coordinator’s Manual for full details on how to successfully select and prepare testing sites.
Evaluating potential off-site testing locations
Once you have identified a place to test, the first step is to make sure that you are speaking with the key person responsible for reserving rooms to outside agencies.
Things to consider include:
- Building access: How will the facility be accessed? Will someone be there during setup? Is it possible to get a key to the facility?
- Seating: Can the room be setup to adhere to the AP Program seating policy? Are tables that meet AP’s standards available? If so, how far in advance may they be set up before the first testing day? If tables are not available, can tables be brought in beforehand? Can they be left in place over the course of testing? Does the facility have chairs, or do those need to be brought in?
- Exams with Special Preparation: AP Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish Language and Culture, Spanish Literature and Culture, and Music Theory, as well as exams for students with disabilities, have special requirements that must be taken into consideration when selecting testing sites and testing rooms.
- Bathrooms: Are there bathrooms? Where are they located? Do they require a key?
- Air conditioning: Is there air conditioning? Where are controls located? If the air conditioning doesn’t work during the exams, is there someone to call?
- Electrical outlets and other equipment: How many electrical outlets are there, and where are they located? Is there a wall clock? Are there lecterns, microphones, whiteboards, or other ways to post information for students?
- Storage: Can items such as CD players be stored safely within the facility or delivered on the day of a specific exam?
- Accessibility: Does the facility support the special requirements of students with disabilities?
- Shared space: Is your school the only group using the facility during testing times? If not, will such setup arrangements create disruption for your students?
- Public works projects: 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.
- Each subject exam must be administered in its entirety at the same off-site location. For example, you may not administer half of your Biology exams in one location and half of your Biology exams in another off-site location, and you may not administer Section I in one location and Section II in another off-site location.
- Before the exam, AP coordinators should visit off-site testing locations to confirm all desks and tables have been set up in compliance with the AP Program seating policy.
- Exams must be transported to the off-site location on the day the exam is to be administered and must be returned to locked storage after the exam administration is complete.
- Coordinators or proctors may not take the exams home or store them in their cars.
- Do not store the exams in off-site locations overnight.
- After the exam administration, make sure all exam materials are accounted for before leaving the off-site testing location.
Telling students how to get there
- Clearly communicate the exact address for each testing location.
- Make sure both students and parents understand that the school is not responsible for their transportation.
Thanking your hosts
If your experience is a positive one, a thank-you note that expresses the desire to use the facility again can lay the groundwork for successful AP Exam administrations in years to come, and can help build good long-term relationships within your community.