AP testing moved to online with major changes

Bulletin+for+AP+Student+and+Parents+with+outdated+information+concerning+the+2020+AP+tests.

Jeremiah

The bulletin with all AP information for parents and students is now wrong. The bulletins were given to students before the COVID-19 school cancellations and new information can be found on the College Board website.

Jeremiah Hosack, Staff writer

Covid-19 has affected many aspects of daily life in the U.S. and other countries. With students not allowed to be at school, schools around the country have figured out alternative ways to teach, whether it be online classes through Zoom, Canvas, or Google Classroom.

With regular classes being a big concern, a question was raised on how the College Board’s AP (Advanced Placement) classes and exams would work. AP classes have the potential to earn college credit; if a student scores a three or above on the end of the year standardized test, their college may grant credit to them for a corresponding course.   

This raised the concern on how the College Board would give out the AP standardized tests. The College Board announced that exams will be offered on May 11-22. The normal exam will be shortened down from a 3-hour exam to a 45-minute exam with one free response question.

“I am hoping that this format will actually improve student scores,” AP Environmental Science teacher Jeffrey Bakunas said. “The test is going to be more focused on your analyzation skills and in depth understanding rather than on the minutia of specific dates or facts.”

Some students have had the opposite feelings, though, after the College Board’s announcement.

“I think that having an essay will make the exam harder because you will be forced to memorize everything and then rehearse it on a paper rather than selecting the answer provided to you on the multiple choice questions,” senior Mason Davis said.

While some students have mixed reactions about the College Board taking out the multiple choice, most teachers feel it’s better for students because it will be able to tell who actually knows how to apply material. 

“Multiple choice is great for unit tests where understanding the content is important, but the AP test should be showing if you can connect information and apply gained knowledge,” Bakunas said

With the AP test being shortened to a free response question, sections like short answers have been taken out along with the multiple choice. Some teachers feel that short answer are better for test taking.

“There are so many intentional test distractors within the multiple choice that I often question what they are testing.” AP Language and Composition teacher Jason Auvdel said “Also, it is all dependent on the passage itself. I would much rather see short answer questions.” 

The College Board has scheduled the tests for days in between May 11 and 22 for all AP classes and the schedule for the classes can be found on the College Board website.