APs Remodel: What Do They Look Like Now?


(Photo/Lacie Slezak/Unsplash)

Akash Bhowmick, Staff Writer

Over the last couple of months, the COVID-19 has forced the entire world into isolation, and changed us into a temporarily completely digital society.

Through all this turmoil, there’s been one question burning in my mind. How will standardized testing work?

Now, standardized testing might seem like an extremely trivial thing to worry about in these times, and for many, it is. But for the millions of high schoolers across the world, standardized tests are used as labels as an attempt to quantify their readiness for college, and crucial for their futures. While many instantly gravitate towards the SAT and ACT when talking about standardized testing, 1.17 million students take at least one AP class every year, with the AP test being a critical way of checking their understanding.

So, in these times of uncertainty, how will AP tests work? Well, it’s complicated. Usually, AP tests are two to three hours long, but the College Board has decided to change it up for this year. Most of the tests will have two Free Response Questions with a total of 45 minutes. With the tests being open book and Free Response, they are more geared towards representing the real life applications of the materials taught in AP classes, as in real life you have access to a multitude of notes. In addition, some tests, like the Computer Science Principles exam, are being completely cancelled. Was this a good decision? PDS Principles teacher Mr. Beck said “I was very surprised that the AP Computer Science Principles Exam was cancelled so quickly–I didn’t expect that. However, thinking about it some more, it was probably a wise decision for several reasons,” citing reasons such as tasks being able to determine a student’s AP score, the reduced time students had to prepare as a result of the virus, and the fact that postponement would go into summer break, which would be pretty hard to handle.

While that’s all being figured out, make sure to stay safe and stay home!