From Papers to Computers

The College Board has elected to move the test to an online platform as the result of the virus.

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The College Board has elected to move the test to an online platform as the result of the virus.

Beginning with times in the early morning and ending with times in the late afternoon, the AP tests determine if students will receive the college credit for their respective AP class. Covering nearly the entirety of the material that has been taught throughout the year, the test is one of the more important ones a high school student can take. Not only does it require preparation and a good amount of studying, it requires patience to sit at the desk for a designated amount of time, with only limited breaks in between. However, due to remote education being the result of this pandemic, that leaves the AP tests in the hands of technology.

For the past few years, students had to take the AP test in the gymnasium, sitting a few feet apart in isolated desks. However, due to the current pandemic, school has moved forward online, but the test determining college credit must still take place. Therefore, the College Board has elected for the test to be taken online. Teachers and students that take part in this test are, for the most part, in utter shock. AP World History teacher, Jennifer Swegler, speaks her truth on the set instructions for the AP test.

“This year the test is only over the document based questions, there is no multiple choice, short answers, or an LEQ. The rubric is also 10 points instead of 7 and the students have 45 minutes to work on the essay plus the 5 minutes that they have to submit it to college board. I think there is a big disadvantage to the students in that they won’t have paper copies to make notes on, and that makes it hard for some students who want to write on documents,” said Swegler.

By shortening the test duration from over an hour to a mere 45 minutes, the College Board has decided to take off most parts of their tests. The organization has taken parts off such as the LEQ and the short answer responses, which used to take up the majority of the test. For some students, this might be a relief, but to others it might be a burden to bear. As for junior, Eriel Fields, the new AP test measures have made her uneasy.

“I feel like it’s going to be a different experience since we are doing it at home. I think that they are going to be scored differently since it is a modified DBQ. So honestly, I feel motivated, but nervous,” said Fields.

While the move to an online platform is cause for stress for some, other students may take this technological pursuit of the AP test as an advancement. Some students are not able to sit down and take the test in the former, pre-virus scenario. Home may be a better atmosphere than a gymnasium filled with quiet, isolated students. For sophomore, Danielle Montgomery, she finds working at home more relaxing and efficient.

“I think it’s better for the AP test to be taken at home because not only is there less work and sections that I have to complete, but I feel as if I work better at home; it’s a good environment for me to work at and focus on my assignments,” said Montgomery.

Overall, the AP tests will be taken into a new ambiance now that the officials have exchanged the paper and pencils for laptops and computer screens. Nevertheless, students around the world must face the new challenges and reliefs that the technological advancements of the AP tests bring.