AP online testing

Jenna Baron, Student Writer

The current pandemic that is affecting everyone around the world is hitting some high school students even harder. With remote learning becoming the new normal for teaching Advanced Placement, students are trying to comprehend new material on their own. College Board has adjusted to the current situation by making all AP testing online to be completed at home. The AP classes work the entire school year to prepare students for these tests. The exams are graded on a five-point scale, which determines if college credit would be received. For most AP students, distant learning made the preparation even more stressful. 

Ms. Warman, the AP Calculus teacher, is very positive about the testing outcomes for her students. When asked how the current pandemic affected her teaching curriculum she responded saying, “Fortunately, we only had one section left that was on the revised AP Calculus exam. Unfortunately, it was the most challenging of the concepts we explored this year. College Board provided videos on that last topic as well as review lessons of all topics on the exam, and I created my own videos and practice problems for students to try on their own. Additionally, I scheduled Google Meets to answer questions and provide support. The students really did an awesome job, and I couldn’t be prouder!”

Technology played a big factor in how possible grades might play out. Testing outcomes for Ms. Warman’s AP students might vary but she feels that “Although students were able to use calculators and materials from the course during their exams, the home environment may not have been the most ideal situation since there were several technological glitches during the uploading process which prevented students from submitting their responses. We’re still waiting to hear back from the College Board as to whether or not the students can take the retest in June.”

When attempting to draw a comparison between what normal testing situations could be like compared to at-home testing, Ms. Warman said they are too different to relate in any way. Speaking from the AP Calculus exam perspective she said, “ If we were in school, the test would have been in a different format. There would have been multiple choice questions, free response problems, and no calculator as well as calculator responses for each type of question. This year’s exam was all free-response prompts with classroom materials and a calculator available for use, so students had eight weeks to work through multiple years’ worth of free-response prompts leading up to the exam.” For some students, distant learning has changed their work ethic towards school work but for Warman’s AP students she says that isn’t the case at all. “Students still worked very hard in preparation for the exam and took advantage of the review opportunities given to them. I think that students did the best that they could given the hand they were dealt.”

For any students who have taken the calculus test or any AP test, Ms. Warman would like to commend you for putting forth so much time and effort during this challenging time. Lastly when she was asked if there is anything she could chance she responded saying, “I would prefer to be in the classroom with my students.”

Kayla Eckrote is an AP United States History Student who took the AP online exam. Luckily,  school was in session long enough so most of the topics were already taught. Kayla thought she was prepared for the exam saying, “ I think that I’ve been well-prepared for the exam due to the assignments I’ve completed throughout the regular school year. I’ve even studied during this pandemic by watching review videos on the AP YouTube channel.” 

This new lifestyle is putting different stressors on everyone. When asked how the pandemic was affecting her, Kayla said, “While it’s certainly not the same to absorb new material at home as opposed to in school, I, fortunately, didn’t have much that I had to teach myself from home. I more or less have simply been reviewing material and practicing for the upcoming test.”

Online testing can be a positive or negative thing for some people. For Kayla she thinks it was a good idea, saying, “It would have been a shame for students all across the United States to hear that the work they did all year was for nothing; it’s nice that there’s an opportunity for students to take the test and show that they’re dedicated to their education, even in the midst of a pandemic.”

Distant learning/working is a very new thing for almost everyone. Adaptation can help lead to improvement. When Kayla was asked about what she would change about the distant learning process she responded saying, “ I wouldn’t change anything about the distance learning process, for I think that GNA adapted relatively quickly and made use of Google Classroom and other resources to assign material and continue teaching.” 

Overall given the current circumstances, both GNA and College Board adapted swiftly on new ways for learning and testing. Remote learning and testing definitely doesn’t seem like the ideal way to take AP classes, but the GNA students persevered. 


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