The student news site of Hopkins High School

COVID-19 causes changes to AP testing

Mar 20, 2020

On March 20, the College Board announced several changes to Advanced Placement (AP) Exams in conjunction with thousands of school closures due to the coronavirus.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic is changing on a daily basis and crowds of 10 people or more have been ill-advised, one of the College Board’s slated changes include the development of an at-home testing option. 

The exams, which are currently scheduled to take place May 4-15, are mostly taken on paper with an exam proctor in the room to monitor students and ensure security of the materials. As of now, both the AP exams and the SAT, which are administered by the College Board, are exclusively meant to be taken on paper at a designated testing center.

The College Board wrote in its statement regarding the company’s response to the outbreak that the digital version of the test would be available on any device a student has access to, whether it be a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Another measure the College Board listed was that this year’s exams would be shortened to focus on what students had been able to learn until early March when schools began to shift to online learning or complete closure. 

While these tests may not cover the breadth of material which past exams have, the College Board gave students no reason to fear that the scores from shortened exams would have an affect on being accepted by colleges and universities.

“Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies,” the College Board said in their release.

To aid students in preparation for these important exams, the College Board also revealed a course of action to assist students during this spell away from their teachers. 

Free online AP review courses will be available live or on-demand starting Wednesday, Mar. 25. These courses will be centered around the first 75 percent of material covered in the respective courses, but additional courses will be available to cover the final 25 percent.

Mr. John Sammler, the AP Coordinator at HHS, received the news of the changes around the same time students did and while he believes that his thoughts about the execution of the exams are subject to change, he is relieved that the College Board has come up with a solution to a question mark hanging over the heads over the heads of high school students and their parents.

“I am happy they have a plan to help students and families have less uncertainty about this topic in their lives right now,” said Sammler.

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