OPINION: Online AP tests could not accurately judge students’ abilities

By Alexandra Zurborg,

BlueDevilHUB.com Staff–

For students taking AP classes, preparing for AP tests has been a year long task. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, AP tests were moved online and shortened to 45 minutes. 

Although these scores will still be accepted by the colleges, a 45-minute exam cannot properly assess a student’s knowledge on a subject, especially on a college level. The test makes it more stressful for the student and all that hard work in the class could have just gone to waste. 

“Even though most universities will continue to accept [AP exams], I don’t think these tests are appropriate for the situation,” junior Eithne Arsuaga-Vazquez said. “Everyone has unique home situations and aren’t guaranteed decent testing conditions in order to perform their best.”

The College Board, which is the association in charge of AP testing, has received a multitude of complaints. Many students feel that the exam was not able to test them on a year’s worth of knowledge.

“They gave a very constrained time limit, which made it feel like our abilities weren’t properly tested,” junior Abdullah Riaz said. 

Another issue that students had to face was difficulties with submitting their AP tests. The College Board’s website couldn’t handle iPhone photos, meaning that lots of students were failing just because their picture wasn’t able to be submitted.

This has become such an issue that California students decided to sue the College Board in response to being unable to submit their tests. 

Junior Sophie Duhameau expresses her concerns with the new AP testing style. 

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic and everyone has different resources, some might not have had access to resources to study or may have been too busy to,” Duhameau said. “It’s unrealistic, but it would be easier for all AP exam scores to match our grade in the class.” 

In addition, the College Board had moved up their registration dates early in the year and raised the fees to over 93 dollars. No refund was given to any of the students who signed up.

The College Board should have handled this situation differently. First off, with the program not being able to accept iPhone photos, the College Board should have fixed their website immediately and not have students retake the test again.

From the first test that malfunctioned, the College Board should have addressed the problem, let the students turn in their AP tests a little later, and grade them based on the photo they’ve received. 

Another solution to this problem is letting people with A’s in their AP classes have the option to take the AP test or not. This gives a chance for the students who don’t have as good a grade in the class to receive college credit while letting the other students receive college credits based on the work they have done over a course of a year.

With a student having an A in the class, it showcases the hard work they have completed over the course of the year rather than a 45-minute test. The College Board should have thought out their new AP testing style before stressing out their students.

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