ASD students take AP exams online

Fresh start or a fateful end?


College Board produced scores of video tutorials to help students navigate the dramatically changed Advanced Placement exams this year. Students were sent an e-ticket two days before their exam, as this video demonstrates.

Claire R. and Ranad B.

Due to COVID-19 this year, CollegeBoard decided to make AP exams available online to allow students all over the world the opportunity to show what they learned over the year. This decision was based on the fact that most AP students surveyed expressed interest in completing their exams to potentially earn college credit despite the virus preventing student from taking exams in person.

AP exams were completed by most ASD students enrolled in AP classes. To get an idea of how the transformed exam experience was for ASD students, ASD Times interviewed multiple students. 

Of the sample interviewed, most said they found their tests rather easy. In accordance with this trend, T. Tafreshi (‘22) stated that she thought she did better on the online exam because the questions were easier than those on practice exams. Despite the perceived easiness found in the online exams, though, most test takers considered the 45-minute time limit not enough to show everything they had learned. Tenth-grader I. Karthik stated, “You can’t judge a year’s worth of learning in 45 minutes. It’s simply not possible.”

Junior A. Toivonen found the time limit stressful. She said she normally faces test anxiety even with ordinary timed tests, so the shortened exams increased that apprehension. Similar thoughts were echoed by numerous students.

ASD students also faced technical difficulties in their exams. S. Zamel (‘20) said that she found out her photo files for the AP Calculus exam were corrupt after she submitted them. A. Patil (‘22) could not submit her AP Biology responses due to loading problems. Thankfully, all the students who were affected in this way were able to submit an application for makeup exams in June, so they will have another opportunity to take the exams and earn credit. As a result of the technical difficulties in the first week of exams, College Board added an automatic option to email some problem submissions directly after the exam.

Toivonen declared that one major personal takeway from having to take AP exams online was that “regardless of the state of the world, you must have the motivation to learn in order to succeed going forward in life. No matter what life throws at you, it’s up to you to find a way to adapt to the changes.”

Regular AP exams finished May 22, one day after ASD’s final high school classes. Students completing makeup exams finish this week. ASD Times sends out congratulations and hopes that all test takers receive pleasing results when the scores come out in mid-July. We also hope everyone in the ASD community remains safe during this trying summer vacation!