AP testing during a pandemic


Emily Steele, Staff Writer

Recently, over three million students sat down at home to take their AP tests. This is a test that determines whether or not students across the United States will earn college credit for their participation in an AP class. Due to the current situation that is affecting the entire world, students had to take their tests online. Tests were administered a lot differently due to COVID-19. According to Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher ED, tests were open note, students were tested in material that was covered up until March, and students will be graded on a scale of 1-5 instead of the usual 1-7.

Many students had mixed reviews about taking the tests online. The test is usually administered through a school or testing environment. Kelly Walsh High School cancelled school about four weeks before the AP tests were to take place. AP teachers were quick to come up with lessons in order to prepare students for exams. With students under quarantine, education became virtual and affected all classes.  

“This quarantine has definitely had a huge effect on my AP tests but I personally benefited because I thought the tests were much easier than they would have been if they were just traditional,” said Laura Hoversland, a junior. Hoversland participated in three AP exams this year. 

Although most of the students that signed up for the exams participated, some students across the nation expressed their concern about the test via Twitter and Tik Tok. Some students felt as though they didn’t get the time to learn the content that would be presented on the exams.

“I was really nervous for my AP Euro test. I was worried that I wouldn’t know much about the topic for the test question and that I would not include the right points in my essay,” said Alyssa Depoorter, a junior.  

Students across the nation started to vocalize their concerns. The College Administration Board and school districts worked together in order to make these tests happen. Although college credit is not guaranteed, these exams help give students the opportunity to get further in their future education. Many students take these exams very seriously and wanted to give it their best shot. 

“My concerns about the test were mainly about the log in and the submission process for the test. The College Board had very specific guidelines to follow, and warned students about computer crashes, as a result of millions of students on at the same time. It scared me. These tests were pretty important to me because it means free college credit and it was the result of hours of extra work,” said Hannah Schumcker, a junior. 

Now that AP testing is over, many students are now turning their concern towards the ACT.  Many school districts are offering free ACT tests due to the fact that many people have lost their jobs and would not be able to afford it. Kelly Walsh High School had offered the class of 2021 multiple different testing options. Some options include testing in the near future, or waiting until school reopens later this year. Juniors may have missed out on crucial ACT prep and maybe missed their chance to talk to guidance counselors about their future. 

“I am concerned that I will not be prepared for the content that is presented on the test due to such a lengthy time away from school. I also feel at a disadvantage because I always learned and tested better around my peers in a classroom environment,” said Presley Bloom, a junior.  

Another issue students and staff debated was whether or not the test would be fair. Students that have taken AP tests in previous years took to social media to express their opinions. Some joked about it and others were more serious. 

“In all honesty I think it was easier. I believe that everyone who took it this year had a fair chance. I mean all of us took the same tests in the same format. It might not be the traditional way but everyone who participated had the same shot,” said Depoorter. She has participated in AP exams two years now.

Although many people across the United States voiced their concerns about how schools are handling AP and ACT testing, some schools have put together ways to help students put forth their best effort.

“KWHS has helped me tremendously in every way possible to make me and every student feel as comfortable as possible and prepared during this time. I am beyond thankful for the staff for being so understanding about all of this. Whether it’s a quick response to an  email I sent or even on a google meet to talk through questions or problems I have, every teacher has been amazing,” said Schumcker.

The class of 2021 definitely has a lot to look forward to with the ACT, but overall, all AP students can say they gave it their all considering the state of the world. It might not have been a traditional way of testing, but students across the nation were able to earn their shot at college credit.