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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

College Board announces changes to AP Exam administrations 

TUES. | 03-23-21 | NEWS

SAT. | 10-10-20 | NEWS

     In early February, the College Board decided to implement three different administrations of the 2021 Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. These three options include computerized, written and a mixed version of computerized and written questions. Pitt County Schools is still determining which class will take which AP Exam administration. 

     “It should be the same format: multiple choice and essay,” AP Biology teacher Michael Walter said. “The one difference they do tell us is that if they take it on a computer, on the multiple choice portion, they have to answer the questions in order and they cannot go back.”

     However, unlike last year’s AP Exams, all AP students will be required to report to school, regardless of which version they take. 

     “Even though it will be on a computer, it has to be in school,” Walter said. “The only exception would be severe medical issues.”

     Many technical problems occurred with the all-virtual AP Exams last year. Because of those problems, College Board opted to offer a variety of tests that will fit each school district’s needs.

     “There were several students that had some issues with technology, submitting exams and things such as that,” Assistant Principal and AP Coordinator Karen Godwin said. “I’m sure that we were not the only school with students that were affected that way, so I’m sure that the College Board takes into account that AP exams are given in every state and other countries.

     The first administration of each AP Exam will take place during the first two weeks of May and will be on paper. The second administration will take place during the last two weeks of May and will be digital. The third will be during the first two weeks of June and will be a mix of multiple choice questions digitally and free-response questions on paper.

     School closures in March due to COVID-19 caused last year’s AP Exams to only cover half of the course material. 

     “This year it's been shared and stated from the beginning that the AP Exam would cover the entire course content,” Godwin said

     To determine which exam best fits each individual AP class, many teachers like Walter chose to poll their students on which format they preferred.

     “Of my 30 students, 85% preferred paper and 15% preferred computer, so the majority says paper but there are still a few that would prefer the computer,” Walter said. 

     Although these two administrations are new additions, colleges will


Graphic by Mary Elizabeth Hutchinson

still be taking the AP Exam scores. Colleges did take scores from last year, but most were wary about the scores because of COVID-19. 

     “I think it will be better, and it’s my opinion that any AP scores from last year, colleges are probably going to be a little wary of because it wasn’t a typical measure that is used,” Walter said. “I would think colleges are probably happy to see that they’re going to be able to provide something that's more of a true assessment of what students learn.”

     College Board recently sent out an update regarding digital testing to ensure exam security. Exams will be scanned with plagiarism detection software, include security features to prevent students from working together and be reviewed by analysts to identify any use of aids on the exam. 

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