In response to COVID-19, the College Board recently announced significant updates to content, structure, and administration for its upcoming Advanced Placement (AP) exams, with reassurances that it will continue to update school counselors, teachers, and students throughout the month of April, leading up to May’s at-home exam administration. Testing dates are May 11-15 and May 18-22, with a make-up period of June 1-5. View the schedule and content for all exams. Recognizing educational disruption as a result of school closings, College Board is also posting its own free, daily lessons covering all exam subjects.
Citing a recent nationwide survey, the College Board has emphasized that students wanted to take these exams. From over 900 pages of survey comments, the CB noted that students still wanted to receive college credit for their hard work this year, and were preparing for the AP's because they have more time on their hands, what with sports, extracurricular, and employment canceled. College Board also reached out to colleges and universities who gave overwhelming support and indicated they will honor this year’s exams in the same manner that they always have (for scores of 4 or 5, and sometimes 3, many colleges typically reward college credit, e.g. the entire University of California system.)
At-home exams will be 45-minutes in length. Exams for English and history subject areas will be a single essay question, while other subject areas will have two questions. World language exams comprise a speaking component, eliminating the reading and writing sections to avoid cheating. Students who normally receive accommodations, such as time-and-a-half, will have these automatically built into their exam platform. College Board has also stated that students with other accommodations will have these available to them when they access their exam.
What will testing look like? For security reasons, College Board hasn’t tipped its entire hand, but it has shared some aspects of exam administration. At the end of April, students will receive via email (the email they used to register with College Board through their schools’ AP Coordinator last fall) a brief guide on how to access their test, including what to do if technology fails. Prior to taking exams, students will also receive a unique access code for their exam/s, which they will use to take the exam from home. College Board notes that if a student fails to access an exam during the regular exam period (May), the student will automatically receive a code to access the make-up exam in June – no need to coordinate with the student’s school. If a student doesn’t take the make-up exam, College Board will assume that the student intended to cancel the exam sitting. Unlike previous years, there will be no $40 cancellation fee. Additionally, there will be multiple levels of security in place to deter cheating; if a student has cheated, College Board will notify all colleges to which a student has applied (or future colleges). A final check to avoid any irregularities: AP teachers will receive copies of their students’ responses by May 26.
These thoughtful and, indeed, necessary changes to AP testing this year result in more responsibility falling on students and their families to stay abreast of dates and administration – and highlight the importance of checking email. Our AP tutors/teachers have, of course, kept abreast of these changes and have incorporated all newly released test information into their individual and small-group virtual review sessions. Because we stay on top of the situation, we can assist students to score at the top. We’ve served South Florida and beyond for over 30 years, with a commitment to our students that’s stronger than ever, even in these difficult times. If you have any questions about this spring’s at-home AP exams, give us a call.