Pandemic Chronicles: AP Exams

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Maayanth Nair, Staff Writer

For many juniors and seniors the most important part of the academic school year is approaching—AP Exams. In May, students across the country will sit for these Advanced Placement exams. The coveted 3, 4, or 5 score on an AP exam means earning college credit while in high school. These exams are a rite of passage for many high school students and a path to academic upward mobility for others. The College Board is extending more assessment options in 2021 to allow for greater flexibility during what has been an extremely trying time for education and the world at large. Students can now take the test online. Usually students would come into school and take the test, but because of Covid-19, Collegeboard felt that it was not safe enough.

Across the country there has been uproar against the Collegeboard. A major problem with this year’s exam is that the in-person exam is designed for a regular school year. It seems redundant to point out that this school year has been anything but regular — our in-person classes have been shortened, and for many, the content has been difficult to digest virtually. Not to mention Zoom fatigue. Nonetheless, the College Board hasn’t appeared to account for the impacts that online school has had on students’ health, well-being, and learning. 

Another problem with the exam is the format. For example, once you have answered a question you can not go back to it to switch your answer. Student Riya Sharma remarks,  “We are at the one-year anniversary of the confusion, disarray, economic turmoil, mass death, and decline of students’ emotional and physical health well-being wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet the College Board has decided it is an appropriate time to proceed with business as usual.”

2020 and 2021 has been nothing but normal and it seems like the AP Exams will follow that trend.