College Board to implement home testing for AP exams

Karen Lu, Daily News/Assignment Editor

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, College Board released an announcement today regarding the revised AP exam policies. 

In lieu of traditional face-to-face exam administrations, College Board is offering a 45-minute online exam at home. These new exams can be taken on any device students have access to: computer, tablet or smartphone. Submitting photos of handwritten work will also be accepted. 

For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates as some students may want to take the exam sooner while the content is still fresh.

With the advent of this new testing administration also comes the concern of test security. College Board has assured that exam questions are designed and administered to prevent cheating alongside the usage of digital security tools such as plagiarism detection software to protect the integrity of exams. 

Addressing the issue of lost instructional time in classrooms, exams will only include topics most teachers have already covered in class by early March.

On top of these accommodations, the College Board is allowing students to cancel any exams they have already registered for at no charge—a change from the original $40 cancellation fee. 

Coppell High School senior Teresa Chin is signed up for five AP exams. 

“I feel like [College Board] is doing the most they can to alleviate our stress by covering topics only until March and having two different testing dates,” Chin said. 

However, despite the accommodations College Board is making, the adjusted testing is still a jarring change for some students.

“Personally, I don’t feel comfortable taking a test at home because I’m used to the testing environment with proctoring and being very focused,” Chin said. “It’s a different vibe when you’re taking it in your room or somewhere in your house.”

Because of this, even though College Board is allowing free cancellations, they are not also providing refunds for students who wish to cancel and also receive the $100 they paid when registering for the exam initially. 

Full testing details including the exam schedule and specific free-response question types on each exam will be available April 3. College Board will also be releasing any relevant free-response practice questions in AP Classroom then.

Furthermore, beginning Wednesday, students and teachers can attend live and on-demand AP review courses for free provided by the College Board. These classes will focus on reviewing concepts from the first 75% of the course with some additional lessons covering the last 25%. Course schedules for some subjects have been released while the rest are still in development. 

Follow Karen (@_karenlu_) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.