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My Online AP Exam Routine

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

Back in April, everyone was uncertain about whether AP exams would take place. We were in the middle of a pandemic – what were we to expect? Everyone was adjusting to online classes, and I don’t think that anybody was sure what online exams were going to look like if they did happen.

As I am sure many of you are aware, the 2020 AP exams were online and typically around 45 minutes long with no multiple-choice responses. They were also open-note. Since these exams were so unusual, I thought I would document what my schedule was (assuming that my exam started at 9:00 am).

8:00 am: My alarm goes off. I should be jumping out of bed and preparing myself for the exam, but I press snooze after fluffing up my pillow for the optimal sleep-in experience. (after all, I made sure to charge my computer and lay out my notes late last night — probably a tad too late, but I am prepared…)

8:10 am: The alarm sounds a second time. I press the snooze button. Again. (I do need as much rest as I can get to ensure that my brain is as fresh as possible for the exam…)

8:25 am: Whether it was due to the blaring alarm or through a subconcious realisation that time was wasting away, I jump out of bed. Now begins the urgent preparation. I am not going to see anybody (unless my FBI agent will be spying on me while I write the exam!), but I still change into shorts and a t-shirt, tie my hair back, and put on some concealer. To do an exam in my pyjamas seemed backwards and not conducive to a productive mindset, but maybe that was just me.

8:45 am: Either distracted by my motivational music or some YouTube video; I take far too long to get ready (but somehow I convince myself that it is therapeutic, somewhat like a normal day where I would wake up to write a normal exam and would be preparing to get on the school bus to the exam site and commiserate with fellow AP-exam takers). But I open my curtains and make my way downstairs.

8:47 am: By this time, I am downstairs. In need of sustenance. (Do I have enough time to eat a proper breakfast? Should I rush for the sake of a full stomach before the exam or have I lost my appetite?) Most days, I ended up taking a coconut-chocolate granola bar and a glass of water upstairs. Holding onto my stash, I run to the washroom.

8:53 am: My computer is open now, and I am quickly munching on my granola bar. I open the proper websites through my exam code. And now: the keyboard test, inputting my information and AP ID…

8:56 am: After meticulously typing in the keyboard test (…that extra space was what messed me up!), I am in the waiting room. It has a GIF, telling me not to worry if I don’t finish all of the parts of the questions (well, that’s reassuring!)

8:58 am: I have two minutes to go. My fresh pieces of paper are ready with my ID on it, my granola bar digesting… but I need the washroom again. Dashing across the house, I go to the washroom…

8:59 am: Thirty seconds left. Twenty-eight seconds… deep breaths. Now it is settling in: this is my AP exam… (Will I get credit? Did I study enough? Did I study the right things? Will I fail? What percent earn 5s again – who passes? Will I just completely blank and forget everything?)

9:00:13 am Exam time. (and so it begins…)

All sarcasm aside, we were incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to earn college credit for our exams which we had studied so hard for and to show our knowledge. Best of luck to all future AP exam-takers!

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