AP test format change


Landon DeBoer

LHS students will be able to access up-to-date information about AP tests on the AP 2020 Google Classroom, and the College Board website.

Gatherings of people in close proximity being deemed unsafe due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 has not only shut down schools across the country but has forced the College Board to make a decision on if or when AP tests are to take place. Due to these challenges, the College Board has moved AP testing online.

AP tests will be accessible to students at home in order to promote CDC guidelines of social distancing and to ensure student safety. The tests will be shortened to a 45-minute free-response exam that will cover less content than the original test. This shortened exam is due to the fact that students spent less time in class because of school closures. The College Board has provided a breakdown of what topics will be tested and what topics will be omitted, in order to best prepare students for the upcoming exams. These online exams will be offered on two different dates, and the dates of the tests will be announced on April 3.

“It’s a different way for us to take the test and it’s gonna be new for all of us,” said senior AP student Rahul Giri. “I don’t know exactly how they’re gonna format it. It seems like it will be less tiring because it’s a shorter test and we need to know less content, so that’s a good part of it. We still have to be prepared for it.”

Along with sharing what topics will or will not be covered on the shortened test, the College Board is also offering online support for students to study topics at home. One self-studying technique the College Board has provided is free AP review classes via live stream, which can be watched from the comfort of home at different times throughout the day for different AP courses.

One question that has been posed about the shortened AP classes is whether or not they will be used to give college credit to students. The College Board is saying that colleges will support the 45-minute exams and would allow students the opportunity to still gain college credit from taking the exams and performing well. However, many others are skeptical about whether colleges will accept the legitimacy and security of the tests due to the possibility of students cheating. Only time will tell what the tests will bring, as this is the first time in the College Board’s history that AP tests will be available for students to be taken online.

“Hopefully it lets us get college credit,” said Giri. “If they canceled the tests totally then we wouldn’t be able to get the college credit from the class, so in that sense, it’s good that we get to take the test.”