In response to concerns about COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, the College Board announced AP tests will be taken online this year. The digital tests will consist of only free-response questions (FRQs) and be 45 minutes in length. This is a drastic change from the normal test, which is almost three hours in length.
In addition, the tests will only cover 75% of the material, encompassing the topics teachers were expected to cover up to March. This will reduce the strain of having to teach new topics digitally in an unconventional manner.
Despite the changes to the test, the college board has guaranteed that colleges will still accept the credit awarded by the test. According to their website, the College board is “committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn.”
In response to the modified testing format, senior Chloe Duffield expressed her approval. She remarked, “I’m in favor of it. I honestly think students are gonna do better. Less stress since there’s no proctor breathing down your neck. Plus free response just means there’s no one correct answer.”
“I think they did the best they could considering the circumstances. However, it’s upsetting that the normal AP tests that we have prepared for will not take place.”
Junior Ryan Swartzentruber added, “I think they did the best they could considering the circumstances. However, it’s upsetting that the normal AP tests that we have prepared for will not take place.”
However, senior Jason Stange had other thoughts. He commented, “I am definitely against it. I would prefer traditional testing, but I know that’s not ideal with the pandemic.”
Senior Lauren Harvey also had concerns for the new format, expressing, “I believe that the way AP tests are being handled is incredibly not ideal. Of course this is an unprecedented event, so no one knows how to handle it perfectly, but why shorten all AP testing to only 45 minutes? How will that even work with AP Lang and Lit—will one’s whole score be based on a single essay? Students have been preparing all year to take full length AP tests that properly demonstrate their skills, and many of us already learned the material that has been taken off exams. I think definitely deciding that this (horrible) setup will be how all tests are taken when we have no idea what the situation will look like in May is a very bad idea, and could cause unnecessary problems for students down the road, either with getting credit from colleges or struggling in future classes that build upon knowledge we no longer need to learn.”
Of course this is an unprecedented event, so no one knows how to handle it perfectly, but why shorten all AP testing to only 45 minutes?”
Meanwhile, junior Ariana Santulis questioned the integrity of both the test and the test-takers, stating, “I’m just wondering what colleges are gonna say when everybody gets a 5 on the test.”
Nonetheless, these students will have to adapt to these changes and overcome these digital obstacles.
Updates will follow on any additional changes to academic testing or instruction due to COVID-19.
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