Online testing for AP classes caused complications


The coronavirus has caused many alterations in the day to day life of many people, but for one particular group it has caused a considerable amount of changes: students. 

Switching to online classes has not been an easy adjustment, and online classes are not the only modification that was made for copious students. Advanced Placement (AP) tests were quickly redesigned to be taken online. 

I have been preparing for all of my AP tests since the beginning of the school year, and I was rather ambivalent about the switch to online testing. 

Taking my AP tests online seemed very appealing at first. Students would have the ability to use their notes, and the information covered on the test was reduced. Since a myriad of the AP classes that exist were unable to finish teaching the curriculum on the test, College Board decided to simply take off the portions of the test that covered those parts students had yet covered in class. 

College Board also put precautions into place to ensure students did not converse with each other during the test, and they were able to detect plagiarism in students’ answers. 

The revised plan for AP testing seemed fool-proof, but many issues rose to the surface once the testing dates crept upon students. 

For starters, the multiple-choice section was completely abandoned, leaving only the written questions for students to test their knowledge on. The multiple-choice section was supposed to be my chance to prove I understand the material to its fullest whereas the written portion is meant to test one specific topic. 

This made it very difficult to prepare for the test. I was afraid I would end up with a topic that I knew very little about and that my entire score would rely on that. 

The “improved” AP tests became a game of luck and whether or not you were able to go into depth on a topic in a moment’s notice, yet this was not the only roadblock students faced. 

Students were given three options as a way to submit their test in the five minutes at the end of their testing time: write their answer on a separate document then copy and paste it into the College Board browser, attach their documents as a text file, or attach photos. 

Amending the Advanced Placement tests was obviously the best option during these unprecedented times, but it should be avoided in the future.

I chose to write my answers on a separate document and paste them in at the end for the majority of my tests; however, it was not that easy for many students. 

Many students that chose to upload a photo had issues. There were many cases of College Board not accepting the photos as well as not supporting the file students submitted. 

There is a multitude of students who now have to retake their test in June. 

College Board was able to partially fix this mistake during the second week of testing by allowing students to email their responses immediately following their test, but the inconvenience still existed. 

Moreover, one of my AP classes took place during the first semester of school. The teacher for that class was planning on holding review sessions after school once we inched closer to the test date to allow us enough time to relearn the material, but we were unable to have those sessions due to the coronavirus. I tried to teach myself the information, but it did not work out the way I hoped it would. 

Amending the advanced placement tests was obviously the best option during these unprecedented times, but it should be avoided in the future.