Changes made to AP exams reacting to COVID-19

by Arianna Michaud | editor in chief

In light of school closures and subsequent movement to online learning, the College Board has made the decision to administer all AP exams online.

“To be a bit more flexible for students being at home, the College Board is offering two testing windows: May 11-15 or May 18-22,” AP coordinator and counselor Mary Louise Solis-Martinez said. 

The tests will consist of anywhere from one to a few essay-style questions, depending on the exam. To help students prepare, the College Board has provided review materials on their website

“I appreciate the effort and I know that they will be very helpful for some, but for me, it’s hard to hold my attention with videos outside of the classroom setting,” senior Isabelle LaHaye said. 

Some teachers, as a result, have changed their plans for review. 

“I will be sending my fall and spring students a code for a Google Classroom I will be setting up just for review materials.  I will also be setting up some Zoom meetings that students can join for review sessions,” AP psychology teacher Patricia Castellanos said. 

The exam itself is accessed through a student’s College Board account. 

“They will be sent a link which will allow them to  have access to their AP exams. That is why it is very important students know which email they used on their College Board account,” Solis Martinez said. 

To account for time lost, the exams will only cover material learned through early March, or about 75% of the course. 

“I like that they understand we did not have enough time to cover the entire course load.  I like that it is only one essay for my students. I think it relieves some of the stress (instead of being responsible for 3 essays and 55 multiple choice questions),” AP english teacher Megan Cobb said. 

The exam is also going to be in the style of an open book college exam, which some may see as unfair to future or past test takers.

“I think it’s fair only because this year we’ve had a lot of change and stress so for a lot of people this test is in the back of their mind so they may not have as much time or energy or resources to prepare for this test like past years have. But I do see how other years may see that as unfair,” senior Yessica Espinoza said.

The repercussions of this development are unknown, especially in regard to how prepared students actually are for the college classes. 

“It depends on what they choose to do now that our learning is primarily our responsibility.  I also heard that some schools might not accept credit from this modified AP test, but that could just be a rumor,” LaHaye said. 

Despite these setbacks, some remain confident that they will be prepared. 

“I think they may be more prepared to handle college in the sense of being equipped to be in charge of learning at their own pace. Everything that determines their grade this year will ultimately fall on them and whether they showed initiative. The setbacks with the exam are in a sense both a blessing and a curse,” junior Kole Wooster said. 

Students can contact Solis-Martinez with questions.

“They may email me or contact the College Board through the above link as well as call them at 1-888-225-5427,” Solis-Martinez said.

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