TLDR: yes, they are.
On January 19, the College Board announced that it was discontinuing the SAT subject tests. It states “the expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability for low-income students and students of color means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know.”
The announcement positioned AP exams as a substitute to Subject Tests. “AP provides students rich and varied opportunities to showcase their knowledge and skills through college-level coursework.” SAT subject tests were already waning in influence and were significantly less popular than the APs.
The discontinuation of the subject tests means APs are now the best way to give your college application an extra edge and distinguish you from other applicants.
Why the AP Exams are Important
AP exams give you a chance to not only demonstrate your strengths in a certain subject area, but they can also count as college credit. They show admissions officers that you have what it takes to succeed in college.
The APs’ importance is amplified because it’s now the sole way to show your content knowledge in a specific subject.
The APs in 2021
The College Board released a new exam schedule for the APs in response to the coronavirus pandemic. There will be 3 administrations between early May and mid-June, with a mix of at-home and in-person exams. Students have the choice to take paper or digital exams and can mix test formats.
For exact exam dates, please refer to the 2021 AP Exam Schedule on the College Board website.