What AP Testing Will Look Like This Year

Reo Lee

As the school year progresses, it is getting closer to the annual AP tests given out by the College Board. AP tests are optional exams taken towards the end of the year that tests students on the knowledge learned in certain AP subjects. The College Board offers a variety of different AP subjects ranging from core classes to foreign language, even allowing students to earn college credit if scoring high enough on the exam.

The AP classes are a year-long course that prepares students to take the exam by the end of the year, having a curriculum that is directly tied to learning all the materials given on the test. Although optional, the majority of students opt to take the exam since the purpose of the classes are to help them pass the AP test.

Usually, students don’t have any problems sticking to the agenda that allows for smooth testing. However, with the pandemic forcing schools to compromise school time, there has been a series of panic among students and teachers alike. Some students are expressing that the motivation of testing has gone down drastically.

“I feel the same when it comes to taking the AP test and preparing for it,” Stephanie Jung said. “But, my mindset changed and I have not made enough efforts to study this year.”

Teachers, whether teaching remotely from home or in person at school, can only see students twice a week to have physical lectures. Three days out of the week requires students to be self-taught, something that is difficult with AP courses. Recent changes to the second semester allowed teachers the choice to go live four days a week, which some of the AP teachers took advantage of.

Students taking AP classes have expressed the worry of not being able to learn enough of the needed content to take the exam. Others have decided not to take the exams at all this year. For those students who have already registered for testing, another question arises, whether testing will be required to be taken in person.

“I think it has been a struggle to grasp all of the AP knowledge virtually,” Alexia Daniels said. “Some of our teachers try to make this process as easy as possible but I think it has been really hard to adjust our brains into thinking about AP Gov or AP Physics because the world is changing so fast. But I am thankful for all of the teachers who have eased us into the coursework.”

On the College Board website, they claim that they will provide options so all students can test. Although these options are still yet to be specified, this is what they have to say currently regarding testing during the pandemic.

AP exams will be the full version, unlike the modified alternative exam they put out last year. There will be two contingency testing dates for all subjects, one in May and the other in June. Schools will be allowed to provide in person testing only if health and safety conditions allow it. There will be a full-length digital contingency exam that can be taken from home even if school buildings are permanently closed due to the pandemic. More information regarding options will be emailed to teachers and administration in early February.

“I feel like after getting an idea of what the tests are like after they are changed to reflect the students abilities in a pandemic in this past year, it will go well,” Sofia Gilani said. “The classes are not changed drastically so we will be prepared to the best of our abilities.”