BREAKING: College Board announces major changes to AP exams due to COVID-19

Kaahini Jain and Hallie Faust

Advanced Placement exams will be administered online this year amid school closures across the nation due to COVID-19, according to an update from The College Board this morning.

These take-home exams will last for 45 minutes, as opposed to the usual three to four hours, depending on the subject, the update explained. Additionally, this year’s exams will also only consist of free-response questions, according to Trevor Packer, Vice President of The College Board.

As stated in the update, the exam will be administered on two different testing dates, which will be posted on The College Board website by April 3.

The College Board sent out a survey to 18,000 AP students resulted in 91% of those surveyed indicating that they did not want AP testing to be canceled due to the coronavirus. Many students feel that the testing is an important step because of the credit they may be able to receive at colleges, according to The College Board.

As these are take-home exams, The College Board said they will use “a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software,” to prevent cheating.

The exams will not include all the material in the course and The College Board has listed which units of each course will be on the test. Students will not be tested on units that are taught later in the course.

On March 25, students and teachers will be given access to free and live AP review courses from AP teachers across the country, according to the update.

These review courses are “designed to be used alongside work that may be given by schools.”

Additionally, review courses “will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course.” There will also be some supplementary lessons focused on the last 25% of the course, content that will not be covered on the exam.

Although most exams simply had some content removed, the AP Seminar exam will not be given this year; however, students signed up for the test must still submit a digital portfolio. The digital portfolio will contain both an individual research report and an individual written argument.

According to The College Board, “colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn.”