by Eric Wyman
June 12, 2020
In a poll done by College Board earlier this year, 91% of AP students in a group of over 18,000 AP students desperately wanted College Board to not cancel the AP Test.
Most students take AP classes for the sole reason of passing the test for the college credit, so students and teachers weren’t sure what was going to happen with the SAT or AP tests.
When quarantine started, schools were shut down for a few weeks before online learning began. College Board, the non-profit organization behind the SAT and AP tests, wasn’t sure whether or not to allow students to still take the test. There were several reasons, such as the students getting less time for class and preparations, the same $94 price per test for less learning and smaller tests, and the question of how to give the students their tests.
There are many thoughts about the tests from both students and teachers. Most of the thoughts were optimistic with only a few negatives. The changes to the tests affected not just the testing equipment and tests, but also the scoring system for the year. There were also some technical issues with the testing online.
Ms. Dulany, who teaches two sections of the 11th grade AP (Language and Composition AP Test) stated, “I felt that the online test was a fair way to still offer students college credit given the unusual circumstances this school year.” She thought that the College Board might do more online tests in the future, but they might have the full content of the AP curriculum and will be longer.
Some teachers, while liking the changes, had a few criticisms of it.
“This year’s test was difficult. It was all Free Response and there were only two of them,” Ms.Schwab, Atholton’s AP Bio teacher, stated. “While College Board eliminated some of the content assessed that teachers had not gotten to yet, they required students to really APPLY their knowledge in a written form. If students mostly thrive on multiple choice test taking, this test was not to their advantage.”
The grading of the exams will be changed for the better.
According to Ms.Schwab, “They did put it out there that there will not be a limit on the number of threes, fours, or fives that they will award,” she said. “When normally there is a curve that they set.”
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, College Board decided to do online testing
“Unfortunately, the first week especially did not go as planned according to their planning. SO they adjusted. The second week students were allowed to email in responses if their pictures and adjustments did not work. That was a real shame for students during the first week because that means they have to take the test again on the retake day.” Ms.Schwab explained,” They also had MANY different forms of the test, which after the test for the teacher makes it hard to assess how the students felt about the exam and/ or how they did.”
This is the first time the SAT or AP test has ever been cancelled or changed to online since its creation in 1926, and 1955 respectively.
It is highly likely that the test will be online next year too, to the disappointment of several teachers.
School is over in a few weeks, but the scores for the AP test will be delivered starting on July 15th, only one month away.