College Board announces alternate AP testing days in response to school cancellations

Ethan Hwang and Ethan Chen

Following the sudden closure of thousands of schools around the U.S., the College Board announced Friday that schools may delay Advanced Placement test dates originally set in May.

According to a statement released by the College Board, alternate AP test dates will be available to schools that have closed due to COVID-19. However, exact test dates will depend on the impact of school closure on AP instruction.

The College Board recommends that schools which are able to make up most of the lost instructional time take the AP exams on the scheduled date. For schools that need extra time, school administrators may reschedule testing for the third week of May, free of charge; later testing is also possible upon request.

In an update, the AP Program stated that it is “developing resources to help schools support student learning,” as well as an option for students to test at home. Portfolio submissions deadlines for AP 2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, Computer Science Principles, Drawing, Research, and Seminar courses will also be extended. The new deadlines and more information will be posted by March 20, the College Board said.

“The AP Program is closely monitoring the updates and guidance about the coronavirus (COVID-19) provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading health organizations,” the College Board stated. “Our first concern is for the health and safety of students, their families, and their school communities.”

The College Board has also promoted the use of other preparation resources such as AP Classroom as in-person instruction is canceled for many schools.

Palo Alto High School has yet to inform students of academic plans related to COVID-19 closures. However, district leaders are set to discuss options on Monday.

Some Paly AP teachers are concerned about how the cancellation of classes will affect preparation, class pacing and test scoring.

“We have eight more chapters between now and the exam,” AP U.S. History teacher Jack Bungarden said. “Those eight chapters are going to show up [on the AP test].”

According to AP Statistics Daniel Nguyen, teachers may also use time normally reserved for AP test review to teach content instead of reviewing. “I think generally AP teachers have a built in three, four weeks of review time, and so at least I personally will tap into that,” Nguyen said.

COVID-19 may also have implications on the way AP tests are scored, as scorers are often congregated into a confined space which may be problematic, according to Bungarden.

This story has been updated to reflect new information.