A Closer Look at The College Board’s Changes to AP Testing


Allie Findeisen, Staff Writer

On March 20th, the College Board announced its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in terms of Advanced Placement (AP) testing. They stated that a few large changes will be made to the format of the 2019-20 exam, “Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates.” To make the exams as fair as possible the College Board has also decided that, “the exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March.” This still poses many areas of concern for AP students.


 Although the College Board has claimed that, “Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn”, many upperclassmen are still anxious about receiving college credit. Junior Edward Yudolevitch said, “I get where they’re coming from but it’s not great for me because colleges probably won’t accept credit from AP exams this year. I’m taking several AP classes which I was hoping could save me money. Now since they’re so short and easy to cheat on, no decent college will take the credits; unless they’re legally required to do so, which I haven’t heard anything about, and probably won’t happen.”  


Another major concern for AP students is how the score will be calculated off such a short test. Junior Diana Vukel said, “Students prepared for an exam with both multiple choice and free response questions, and now it feels like our entire score will be dependent upon a few questions clumped into 45 minutes. It’s definitely very stressful.” Junior Rakshita Ramakrishna said, “Before, the tests used to be longer so if you messed up on one question it wouldn’t matter that much. Now, since the test is shorter, each question matters a lot more which is stressful.” 


In addition to almost all of the exams being shortened, the College Board has canceled the AP Computer Science Principles Exam. This exam would have consisted of 74-question multiple-choice questions graded along with two Performance Tasks, which are still being counted. This has left many students frustrated. “My AP Computer Science test now only consists of projects, which is a little bit frustrating because I’ve already put so much time into studying for the multiple-choice”, said Junior Maya Watson.


Although they are expressing anxiety over the condensed exams, students recognize the necessity of these changes. As of a few weeks ago, they were unsure if these exams would even be held. The College Board has also been very accommodating by allowing a full refund for any students who decide they no longer want to take the exam. Further logistics are still being discussed and the College Board will be releasing more details on April 3rd.