The closing of the school year means AP exams for students. This year with COVID-19, College Board is giving a digital remote option for the students. 

     With digital remote exams there are concerns about cheating, something that counselor Ashely Wilks thinks the college board says a handle on. 

     “Disabling moving forward and backward in the test is a big one,” Wilks said. “And it’s College Board. They are massive enough to have the technology needed to detect cheating. And ap questions are ones you can simply Google. So if a student spends all their time googling the answers, they will run out of time. 

     Another advantage that digital students might have is the fact that the digital exams are later then the in person exam.  

     “There are advantages and disadvantages to both formats,” Wilks said. “Yes, students get more study time. However, students are not able to skip ahead to easier questions and then go back to the more challenging questions later. There are also more distractions at home versus at school. So, really, I think it is all going to end up being on an even playing field.” 

     Daniela Flores chose to take the AP US History (APUSH) exam this year remotely. 

     “I choose digital over in person because there are a lot of (COVID-19) cases spreading in Texas,” Flores said. “I prefer digital exams over in person exams. When I would take in person exams, I would get nervous every time someone would complete their testing before me because I would think I’m too slow and that (I) wouldn’t complete the exam before the timer is up.”

     Flores has had to change the way she has studied for the test. 

     “I would always study with my friends in person and quiz each other with flash cards,” Flores said. “But ever since we did online classes, I’ve used online textbooks and had to watch videos in order to prepare for whatever assignment or exam was coming up.”

     Even though she is taking the exam at home, she wants to make sure her testing room is a good environment to work in. 

    “I will go into my room and clear my desk and make sure there is nothing that would distract me,” Flores said. “And I would put my phone away as that could be a major distraction.” 

     Daniel Cano is also taking the APUSH exam remotely. 

     “I felt I’d be more comfortable at home,” Cano said. 

     He also had to change the way he studied for the exam since choosing the digital option. 

     “I’ve watched a lot more review videos,” Cano said.

     He does have a few things he needs to make sure he is test ready. 

     “I’ll need my charger, maybe some earbuds or just a nice quiet room,” Cano said.

     College Board has also made it so digital exams don’t allow you to move back to  previous questions.

     “It hopefully shouldn’t make too much of an impact compared to a written test where you may have marked something wrong on accident,” Cano said. “I think that’s a lot harder to do on an online test.” 

     Digital AP exams are available for all students who have paid $40 for the exam. However, some exams like foreign language exams, will not be available and must be taken in person. The exams will also be full length.


A screenshot of the instruction page. The page links to the app students need to download to take their digital exam.