College Board allowing AP tests during Covid-19 pandemic


The Covid-19 pandemic that has spread worldwide at an alarming rate has caused drastic changes no one saw coming. Businesses and schools shut down, major cities have gone into lock down for months.

It is a movie in real life.

With non-essential businesses shutting down to prevent this pandemic from spreading even faster, schools are left with no option but to finish the rest of the school year online.

Now, this may not seem like such a big deal for some students, but students who are enrolled in AP classes have hit a roadblock.

AP classes spend all year preparing students for the May exams to earn college credit, but since these tests are in-person exams, students will no longer have the opportunity to go in and take their exam.

The College Board, the organization that is in charge of all college entrance and AP exams, has found a solution to this issue: still allowing tests to go on.

With social distancing being highly enforced, the College Board has decided to make this year’s AP tests at-home exams. These exams will be able to be taken on any mobile device the student wishes to use: tablet, computer, smartphone, or they even have the option to submit handwritten responses by taking a photo of their responses and submitting it.

As for this year’s exam format, the test will be much shorter, a single FRQ question which students have 45 minutes to respond to.

The test will be open note, but this does not mean students are able to share information to one another during the test, the College Board said they will be enforcing tools to prevent student cheating as much as possible.

“We’re using a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software and post-administration analytics, to protect the integrity of the exams,” the organization said. “In addition, each student’s AP teacher will receive copies of the work the student submits to us, enabling teachers to spot inconsistencies with students’ known work.”

Keeping all of these new changes in mind, AP teachers have to adapt to the new testing methods and help students prepare for the new exam format, AP Language and Composition teacher Mara Schultz being one of them.

“Since our focus this year is that everything is an argument, a rhetorical analysis FRQ fits the prompt,” Schultz said. “I do, however, wish that the test was not just one question. For many students, the rhetorical analysis is the most difficult to write, and they would have more chances to shine on an argument or synthesis essay.”

AP students who still end up choosing to take the test this year will have to settle for a whole new test they were not expecting to take.

Junior Danny Jung says, “It’s ok, it could be good or bad depending on how well you know the certain parts they decide to test on since they cut it down, like for english they’re doing a rhetorical analysis which isn’t my best and I was relying on other parts of it to make it up.”

This maybe temporary, and new way of testing is something that students and teachers worldwide will have to get used to.

Even while the world is going through a serious and tough time, still being able to have the opportunity to take the AP exams is something that both teachers and students are grateful for.

“I like that even though we’re in the middle of a global pandemic that my students will still have a chance to earn the college credit they deserve,” Schultz said.

Covid-19 has taken many jobs and opportunities away from people, but it was not able to take away the opportunity for students to take their AP exams and have a shot at earning college credit who have tirelessly worked all year to prepare for.