AP Exams Change to Accommodate for COVID

     With AP testing dates drawing near, the College Board has been releasing more and more information in regards to how AP tests will take place this year.  

     Both digital at-home and at-school AP tests will be offered based on the individual course and the administration’s preference. Schools choose to offer in-person exams in the digital or paper formats, as well as at-home digital exams. Fenwick has elected to offer a combination between these two options.

     The digital, at-home version and the in-person exams are still generally the same test. According to the College Board, “Digital exams will be full length and test the same knowledge and skills as paper and pencil exams, in a format-appropriate manner.” The at-home digital option is just one of the main ways in which the College Board has attempted to be more flexible for students this year. Test session dates will be spread out from early May to mid June and will vary by each administration. This is different from last year, when the test was offered at the same date and time world-wide with the intentions of preventing answer sharing. Students will also not be required to have their cameras on for the at-home testing. Yet with these at-home digital exams, the obvious risk is of students cheating. In light of this, the College Board has added new anti-cheating features to the online format. Students will not be allowed to use smartphones and must use a computer to take the test. Additionally, students are not allowed to return to previously answered questions. Subjects like languages and music theory, in which students can more easily cheat, all require in-person exams. Aside from new security measures, the digital exam will have features that will lessen the chance of technological hiccups. Last year, there were a decent amount of students reporting glitching during the digital AP exams. This year, however, the College Board assures students that the online format will be improved from last year, and that it will be less sensitive to poor Internet connection. Despite these improvements, the College Board has seen a record low amount of test takers this year. Not taking the test is of no detriment to the student’s GPA; however, they will not receive the full AP college credit. 

     Senior Melanie Brew will be taking AP French and AP Chemistry tests this year, both of which will be taken at school. Melanie explains that she initially considered not taking the AP test this year. She ended up deciding to take the exam, with the attitude that it would not do harm to at least try for AP credit. In regards to her preparation, Melanie states, “I feel somewhat prepared in spite of class time looking so different this year. It’s something that I would like to do well on, but at the same time, I can’t say I’m excited about taking it this year.” 

     Like Melanie, senior Anton Torchia has decided to follow through with his AP testing. Anton will be taking AP Italian in person, along with computer science and AP Micro and Macroeconomics at home. Commenting on his test preparation, Anton states, “I feel mostly prepared; my attitude has been one of making the most of it and trying my hardest despite the challenges this year has brought.”