COVID-19 pushes AP testing online


March 20, 2020, 6:43 p.m. | By Shruti Chauhan | 2 months, 1 week ago

The College Board decided to administer online exams amid school closures


With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommending an eight to 20 week quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus, school closures and spring activities are up in the air. On March 20, The College Board announced that traditional in-person Advanced Placement (AP) exam administration will not take place. Instead, students can opt to take a 45-minute online exam at home.  

The Department of Education has cancelled a multitude of standardized tests, as officials recognize that this is not a priority. However, 91 percent of 18,000 AP students surveyed by the College Board wanted to retain the opportunity to earn credit. Thus, the administration will be working with educators to develop online exams that will be given on two separate dates that are still to-be-determined. Students who have the coursework fresh in their memory can take the test on the first date in May, and those who want to practice can take the test on the second date. 

Furthermore, the College Board will be providing free remote learning resources. The exams will only test material learned by early March, in an attempt to account for students who have lost more instruction. A table with the units that each AP exam will cover can be found here. Colleges are allowing students to receive credit for these tests. Alternatively, if students do not want to take the exams due to any circumstances, there will be no cancellation charge. 

The two big issues College Board is currently addressing are test security and connectivity. Students who need mobile tools and/or connectivity can reach out to College Board. The streamlined exams will be designed to fit any device and photograph submissions of handwritten work will also be allowed. To keep tests secure, a variety of digital security tools and techniques will be used, in addition to plagiarism detection software.

Senior Vice President of AP and Instruction, Trevor Packer, tweeted more details. “The at-home AP Exams this year will not include any multiple-choice questions, only free-response questions adapted for secure testing at home. They will measure skills that can’t be learned from Google or chats with friends,” he wrote. 

Additional details can be located on the College Board website. The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will appear on each exam, and additional testing information will be provided by April 3.

Update (3/7/20): On April 3, the College Board released the new exam dates and course-specific exam formats, which can be viewed here. Official testing dates are May 11 through May 22, and June 1 through June 5 will serve as make-up dates. The exams will be open book/open note, but students may not consult with one another. The College Board will cancel the AP scores of anyone who violates exam security, in addition to notifying their high school and/or future colleges.

This is a fluid story and updates will be added when available.

Last updated: April 10, 2020, 6:10 p.m.


Tags: COVID-19 MCPS AP Tests College Board coronavirus

Shruti Chauhan. Hi, I'm Shruti and I'm a junior at Blair! Apart from writing for SCO, I enjoy playing tennis, biking, and watching Netflix. More »

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