For months, Advanced Placement (AP) students have been preparing for rigorous exams. From the first days of school in August, students study for roughly four hour exams. All they have to show for their hard work is a number one through five. These students felt ready for these exams. Until one day, that all changed.
Was that introduction very dramatic? Yes, but that is because that is how most AP students feel because of how sudden the changes were.
The College Board, the body in charge of AP exams, had altered the format due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead of a multiple choice section and numerous extended responses, they cut it down to only two 45 minute extended responses per exam. This hurts many students who were depending on multiple choice to bring up their score.
Beth Ewing, AP Government teacher at OHS says, “It’s frustrating because with the traditional test there were lots of ways for students to show what they know.” However, she says she reminds herself that this new test is best for global students and “not just those of us working through a pandemic for the last few weeks.”
These tests will be given online in the comfort students’ home from May 11th to May 22nd. The College Board will be providing an online testing system for the exams. Along with online, they are also allowing students to write their responses on paper and submit their answers by taking a photo.
Sure many students expected a different way of testing due to the pandemic, but what they did not expect was for them to be open note/textbook. This comes as a huge relief to many students. For others, heightens the nerves. Clayton Rhoads says (12) he believes, “this is a good idea. It helps me.”
Previously, knowing factual information would boost your score. Now, it will not. The College Board believes this will help scoring the responses because it is based on what the student knows and how they can expand on those ideas.
Cheating is one of the biggest concerns for the exams, but The College Board says they will be taking measures, such as software, to prevent plagiarizing.
Taking into account that some students will not have recovered as much content as others, there are only certain units being tested. The College Board is uploading new lessons on youtube, everyday, for every class. This is to make sure that every student has an equal opportunity. Along with learning the necessary content, the teachers do practice extended responses to get students used to the new format. These lessons are around 45 minutes each.
It is a very stressful time for students and parents everywhere. The best way to stay updated on your AP classes and exams is through the AP College Board website.