AP tests are scheduled throughout May and June, and students are now expected to respond to a district survey over which AP testing environment they will be attending.
“There is either the take-at-school paper and pencil exam, or you can take it at home online,” College Career and Military Readiness Counselor Tenley Barrow said. “The online version is not available at school. I think that is one of the biggest misconceptions is that you can take an online test at school, and that is not the case.”
The survey was sent out March 31 via student’s district provided email account. It is advised that students check their spam or junk mail folder if they do not see the email in their immediate inbox.
“[You] have until April 9 to respond. So basically you’re just selecting the method that you want to take your exam,” Barrow said. “If you’re already an in-person learner, you’re probably going to select paper and pencil, but if you don’t select something by April 9 at four o’clock, I will select something for you and that will be at-school, paper and pencil.”
Though three different testing administrations are being offered by the College Board, administration three is not being offered by any NEISD campuses.
“That’s only in emergency situations, mainly because it is in the summer and we don’t have people here in the summer: I’m only contracted until June 3,” Barrow said. “Some of those exams go well into I believe June 11. Those would only be in extenuating circumstances and you would have to have gotten approved through me, because we would have to have hired a specialized proctor to come in and do those exams those days.”
Students are also advised that, though they can choose to take some of their exams online and some in-person, they are not allowed to change their minds on the method of administration once the survey is submitted.
“I would think administration one, paper and pencil, would be best for most of them,” Barrow said. “I noticed from all of the training and videos we have watched, it seems that those are a little bit more equitable. So if you’re able to, and not compromised health wise, I would suggest paper and pencil in the first administration. We can’t make students take it one way or another. For AP classes, if you’ve been online the entire year, the suggestion would be to probably be to take your AP exams online as well.”
Precautions are also being taken by the College Board to ensure that no cheating takes place on online AP exams.
“There is a specific lockdown browser this year,” Barrow said. “I wasn’t here last year, but I heard there was something to prevent tampering, but this year, it is much harsher. Like if you were to try and get out of the window for just one second to go somewhere else on your computer, it will shut you down and you can’t get back in. There are a lot of precautions College Board is taking.”
Administration one of AP testing will take place from May 3 through 17, while administration two will be from May 18 through 28.
“My suggestion would be, if you’re having a hard time deciding between if you should come to school, as opposed to taking it at home, I would look at the digital testing guide that I included in the email, and go through it, because there are a lot of steps you have to take before the exams,” Barrow said. “And kind of think to yourself, first of all, what exam is it that I’m wanting to take, and if I take this online, how will it differ from the pencil and paper version? I also included that paper and pencil chart. There’s a few differences between paper and pencil and digital, and it also includes what exam you’re talking about. So I would consider it heavily, especially if you’re really wanting to do well on the exam. I would talk to your teacher about it, and talk to your parents about it.”