YamPage Compares the Benefits of Your Favorite AP Exam Formats

Many students were excited about the return of AP exams to pen and paper this year, but was it really the best choice? In this article, we’ll be looking at the relative benefits of each different exam format.

Pen and paper:

  • A sense of connection to the other students taking the exam. Who doesn’t love the sound of that guy in row three blowing his nose far too loudly and frequently for it to be allergies?
  • Noticing a mistake at the beginning of your written response and having to redo the whole thing. Hope you packed your erasable pen!
  • Discussing the questions during the break. Wait, we’re not supposed to do that?
  • Bringing a great snack and having everyone think you’re cool. Reminds me of my middle school days.
  • The feeling of the paper under your head when you pass out during the test because of your chronic lack of sleep. Seriously, go get some sleep.


  • If you have another device in your house, you can use it to look up answers. Remember, it’s not cheating if they don’t see you doing it.
  • The knowledge that a server outage could ruin your academic future. Now, you can blame your real-life problems on lag, too!
  • Being forced to install random software on your computer. It’s not a virus, we swear.
  • The ability to take the test on whatever device you want. I took my AP Chemistry exam on a Nintendo Switch.
  • Getting to use a mechanical pencil and knowing there’s nothing they can do to stop you. If they’re so popular, why are they still #2?

To summarize, both the online and in-person AP exam formats have their benefits, but in the end, the real best choice is to not take AP exams at all.

Jimothy Rivers
Archbishop Lieutenant Director Professor Doctor Jimothy Rivers has previous work experience as the archbishop of Winnipeg, a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy, the director of the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C., a professor of golf management at Idaho State University, and as a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. In his free time he enjoys playing a variety of sports, with his favorites being extreme ironing and combat juggling. He is currently retired from all of his jobs except teaching at Idaho State and writes articles for YamPage in between classes, hoping to gain another title. He can be reached through his unpaid intern Bohdin Bright ('23) with questions about his articles or extra credit opportunities.