AP Exam Update

Xinyi Xie, Copy Editor

Virtual and hybrid learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for nearly a year. After a haphazard attempt at moving the AP exam online last June, the College Board has reorganized the 2021 AP’s and recently announced two key updates.

First, the 2021 AP exams will offer three testing dates for each subject in May and June. The first administration will be entirely on paper and can only be administered at school. In the second and third administrations, there will be digital exams that can be taken both at school and home, given the AP coordinator’s authorization. Schools can pick multiple testing windows. Exams will be full-length, as they were before 2020. 

Second, students taking the online exams will access the tests through a digital exam application with a lockdown browser. Since this year’s exams will include typed free responses, they cannot be taken on smartphones. The start time for all online testing of the same subject will be the same across the globe.

The College Board will release the online exam applications in April, when students can access resources to familiarize them with the flow of the exams and practice answering similar questions that they may come across in the actual exams.

Some students are pleased with the AP exams’ return to the traditional format while still being flexible in adapting to the current COVID-19 situation.

“I’m glad to see that things have kind of returned to normal,” said junior Tyson Ma, “Last year was pretty weird.”

Others, however, also express some doubt as to how the AP exams will go this year. 

“One thing I’ve been wondering is how [College Board] will make the exams fair,” said sophomore Evelyn Wu, “Since they’re gonna have different tests for three dates, it’s gonna be hard to ensure they’ll be equally hard.” 

According to Sage Hill’s AP coordinator Gabrielle Jimenez, Sage is still working on the final decision as to how to address the new testing methods. Updates will be announced as soon as decisions are made.