(Image retrieved from collegeboard.org)

Teachers, students react as AP exams move online because of COVID-19

Because of COVID-19, all AP exams were put online and made open-resource.

Depending on the subject, an AP test usually lasts one to four hours and consists of multiple-choice and free-response questions, such as essays and short-answer questions. 

The changes in the May 11-22 tests will not affect colleges giving course credit for qualifying scores, according to the College Board.

Originally 3 1/2 hours, AP history exams were reduced to one essay question that lasted 45 minutes.

Chris Kuipers, who teaches AP classes in European and U.S. history, said the exam wasn’t thorough.

“I think the exam did an OK job of evaluating skills, but it absolutely falls short of testing content knowledge,” he said.

Other teachers agreed with Kuipers.

“I thought that the choice of what to drop and how much was exactly correct, under the circumstances,” AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC teacher Glenn Mangold said. “I wish the tests had been longer and included multiple-choice, so that (they) could cover more concepts.”

The AP Spanish test was modified from a four-hour exam with reading comprehension, writing, listening and speaking sections to two speaking questions.

AP Spanish teacher Patricia Portillo said the new exam was not equal for all students.

“I find it unfair to many of my students whose writing skills are excellent, and they cannot provide that for evaluation at all,” she said.

Students interviewed had mixed reactions about the exams being online. 

Freshman Athenea Godinez took the AP Spanish exam.

“Even though I was well-prepared, I was still nervous because I didn’t know if anything would go wrong with the internet connection or if something would malfunction on the app, so it was a little stressful,” she said.

Sophomore Dylan Margolis took the AP Calculus AB exam and, like others, had trouble turning in his test.

“When I was trying to submit a file containing my test, it wouldn’t let me, even though I was using a file type that (the exam) said was allowed,” Margolis said.

Makeup exams began June 1.

— Emily Asperger

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