CollegeBoard announces new AP exam testing guidelines


Lilly Gorman

Advanced Placement exams are offering both in person and online options for students to test. Coppell High School sent out a survey to be completed by today’s deadline.

Drishti Gupta, Staff Writer

As COVID-19 persists through 2021, CollegeBoard has announced new updates for Advanced Placement exams this year and are offering full-length paper exams and digital exams. 

Currently, Coppell ISD has not decided on which testing format it will offer. However, it will form its decision based on a survey sent out to students seeking their preferences and access to technology. 

“What we are considering is that some kids want to take it on paper, and some kids want to be able to take it at home,” Coppell High School testing coordinator Dr Rachelle Hill said. “We want to be able to give all kids the choice.”

The district has decided that AP Calculus (AB/BC), AP Physics, AP Statistics, and all foreign language exams will only be offered on paper at CHS.  For the other AP exams, the district is still deciding on which testing format to offer; however, students will likely not be able to take both in person and digital exams – they must choose one or the other. The deadline for cancellation and a full refund has also been extended to April 1st. 

As of now, CollegeBoard is offering three administrations. The first administration takes place early to mid-May and will include only the traditional, full-length paper and pencil exams administered at school. The second administration will take place mid to late May in which both paper and digital exams will be offered. Lastly, the third administration will take place in June and will only consist of digital exams. However, our district has not decided on which administration to go with yet. 

“I’m a fan of both [digital and on-paper exams] because I know that there are a lot of families that want to provide a safe testing environment for their kids, and I want to provide that for them as well,” Dr. Hill said. “I don’t want to put [students] in a situation that makes them more anxious. We can provide a safe testing environment for kids on our campus as long as we are able to spread out in the school and have a virtual school day.”

CHS AP Biology teacher Dr. Bianca Benitez also considers which testing format she prefers for her students. 

“For me, as a teacher and as a former student, writing a test on paper where I can read and annotate would be the way I would want to go,” Dr. Benitez said. 

While the traditional, on-paper exam guidelines are relatively the same, the guidelines for digital exams are significantly different from last year’s exams. 

First, students will need access to a computer, power, and internet. Digital exams will also all start at the exam same time, worldwide, and software and applications will have to be installed prior to testing to ensure exam security. Students will also not be able to move back and forth between questions in digital exams and questions that can be answered using outside resources will not be included. Lastly, security features will be implemented to prevent cheating and collaboration. 

Despite these differences, both the on-paper and digital exams will cover the same content, contain the same question types and, in most cases, have the same number of multiple choice and free response questions. 

“I think [my biggest priority] is probably safety, but then again, I feel like CHS has put in the necessary safety measures to keep us safe while taking exams inside the building,” CHS sophomore Janani Ramamoorthy said. “So, I guess mostly taking the exam properly [is my priority], but safety is also a minor concern.”

Follow Drishti (@drishti_gupta_) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.