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AP Exams are administered once a year in May following a prescribed schedule. Schools may administer exams without offering AP courses; also, schools may offer AP courses only and send their students elsewhere to test.

Below are the steps your school must take in order to administer AP Exams.

Note that you don’t need to tell us which AP Exams you plan to administer at this point; you’re simply registering your school with the College Board so you can order and administer exams.

Your school must have a College Board school code to participate in AP and other College Board programs. This is a unique six-digit code that identifies your school in our system. It comes in two different authorization levels:

  • Level 1 authorization: Required for schools to provide AP courses and receive their students’ AP Exam and other College Board test scores. Schools cannot administer AP or other College Board exams.
  • Level 2 authorization: Required for schools to receive scores as well as administer AP Exams and PSAT-related assessments and to apply to become an SAT Test Center.

Tip: Apply for a level 2 code even if you don’t plan to administer any College Board exams at the moment. You’ll save time if your plans change.

If your school already offers AP, the PSAT/NMSQT, or the SAT, you already have a school code. Use the high school code search to look up your code. A school code is unique to your school and does not expire.

To get a school code or confirm or change your school’s authorization level:

Your school’s authorization level is not shared publicly.

The AP coordinator is responsible for organizing and administering the AP program at your school. He or she manages the registration and ordering process; the receipt, storage, distribution, administration, security, and return of AP Exam materials; and the collection of fees and submission of final payment to the AP Program.

  • The AP coordinator may be a full- or part-time administrator or counselor, faculty member, or other school staff member who is not teaching an AP course.
  • To avoid any perceived conflict of interest, AP teachers cannot serve as AP coordinators. AP coordinators also cannot proctor an AP Exam in a subject area they currently teach or have taught.
  • An AP coordinator cannot be involved in the handling of any exam materials that an immediate family or household member may take.
  • An AP coordinator cannot be employed part time or full time at a test preparation company, or participate in any coaching activity that addresses the content of secure College Board tests.

Learn more about the administration of AP Exams, and resources available for AP coordinators, by visiting AP Coordinators.

In August, principals and coordinators receive their school’s unique code to verify access to AP Registration and Ordering.

When AP coordinators sign in for the first time, they’ll be brought to AP Registration and Ordering Setup. Here the coordinator must enter information about their school and choose settings related to exam administration. Learn more about initial setup.

After the coordinator completes setup, they’ll be notified when their AP Participation Form is ready to review, sign, and submit electronically.

Important: Schools can’t place an order for exams until the AP coordinator has completed and submitted the AP Participation Form. For complete information about exam ordering deadlines and fees, see the AP Coordinator Manual Part 1

Visit Exam Order Finalization for more information on using AP Registration and Ordering to order exams. 

Ensuring Testing Room Compliance

The success of any exam administration depends greatly on the suitability of the testing site. Most AP Exams are given in a school’s classrooms, library, or cafeteria, where your students benefit from familiar surroundings and easy access. It’s important to plan ahead to ensure each meets the specific testing room requirements. Schools with large programs may also want to review the possibility of off-site testing.

Complete requirements can be found in the Seating Policy and Seating Charts.

Interested in becoming a College Board member? That’s a separate application process. Learn more.