Student dismissed from AP Biology exam

A Palo Alto High School student was dismissed during the Advanced Placement Biology exam on Monday morning after exiting the building during the test, which was not permitted while the test was in session.

According to the Paly administration, the College Board (the non-profit corporation that conducts AP courses and testing) was contacted immediately following the incident. The administration was instructed to dismiss the student and to cancel that student’s score. The administration says that cheating was not in any way confirmed.

A whiteboard displaying beginning and end times for the Advanced Placement Biology exam that took place on Monday. A student was dismissed during the test for exiting the testing area. Photo by Lydia Barry.

“The College Board has very stringent policies regarding testing policies,” Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said. “Whether cheating occurred or not is not up to the administration to decide.”

According to Berkson, dismissals during AP testing at Paly are extremely rare.

“This is the first dismissal of a student from an AP test that I’m aware of in nine years,” Berkson said.

Students who were in attendance during the exam say the proctors were clear on what physical boundaries were for the testing period.

“The proctor made it very clear before the start of the test that we could not for any reason leave the library,” senior and AP Biology student Alex Hwang said.