Obviously, the Coronavirus has taken its toll on the daily lives of students. For starters, a statewide quarantine has been issued, keeping students home for at least three weeks. Furthermore, only businesses deemed “necessary” or “life-sustaining” remain open, and gatherings of ten or more are discouraged for the next six to eight weeks. More and more COVID-19 related news floods radio stations, social media, and the internet every hour as “social-distancing” becomes a relevant term. As the virus clearly affects the lives of all Americans at the moment, it specifically causes nearly all schooling to become virtual, including testing.
The Collegeboard announced, “Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates.” Additionally, the International Baccalaureate exams have been canceled altogether. Although many options for both exams have been eliminated due to the Coronavirus pandemic, students are still having trouble with the idea of taking these exams online.
One 280 student who is currently enrolled in several advanced placement courses claims, “It is unfair towards students from upper classes, as they had 3 hours to show what they’ve learned but now only have 45 minutes to test on everything from a whole school year.” To add, free response formatted questions often do not accurately represent much information learned in science and math courses.
Another AP student from 280 stated, “Now that it’s at home, I don’t know how much everyone will be able to concentrate with their family. I’m used to thinking that the big AP exam is three hours long and is held at La Salle. But now, a lot of change is happening, and I’m not really used to all of this, being a first time AP test taker.”
With the current circumstances at hand, not much can be done about largely scheduled exams such as the AP and IB. However, the worry and lack of trust from students begs the question of how seriously results from these exams will be taken. Although the CollegeBoard claims that it will be very difficult to cheat on the exam, students always seem to find a way to do so. Considering that students will have access to endless sources at their homes during the exam causes worry as to how exactly they will be graded. However, even with many complications to the reinvented AP exam, students should consider themselves lucky to have some sort of an opportunity to test. Unlike those in the International Baccalaureate program, they will at least have the opportunity to receive credit for the year, as well as continuing to keep their health in mind.
Anna Bokarev (280)