Junior Jasmine Flores checks her AP English Language and Composition stream to complete her assigned unit assessments. The Stream includes unit guides with topics that appear on the exam and an AP question bank consisting of practice problems.

College Board updates AP curriculum, registration

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The College Board implemented changes including new AP resources and registration deadlines to the AP exam system for the 2019-20 school year in hopes of improving students’ chances of success.

Free AP resources, including unit guides and the AP question bank, will be available for students and teachers on the College Board website.

“I believe that students will really benefit from the new AP resources,” sophomore Stephanie Rodriguez said, “because not a lot of students were as fortunate to buy resources on their own so with the new ones, they can get them for free.”

The new online resources raise concerns as the actual AP test is completed physically with paper, pen, and pencil.

“Timed, hand-written exams are a bit different and maybe more challenging than electronic tests for some students,” AP World History teacher Henry Osborne said. “Skills and habits like annotating documents and brainstorming ideas for essays still need to be taught and reinforced in class.”

With the new exam registration deadline  requiring students to register by October, Osborne said that students generally should commit to their classes at registration unless unforeseen situations arise.

“Changing one’s mind about completing a goal because it becomes difficult rarely leads to a sense of accomplishment or growth,” Osborne said. “In the 2018-19 AP World History class, 106 of 107 students took the exam. Many felt they would not pass, yet over 79% did, and many students earned scores of 4 or 5.”

Junior Michael Wong said that the new registration deadline is detrimental towards students questioning whether or not they should take the exam(s) in addition to their normal course loads.

“People who are uncertain now have the added stress of deciding whether or not to prepare for an expensive test, a major event to prepare for,” Wong said.

In addition to the $94 exam fee, the College Board added a $40 cancellation fee for students who decide that they no longer wish to take the exam after registering.

“The new fees make it more difficult for some students to choose whether or not they still want to take the AP tests for their classes,” junior Nathan Chung said.

Sophomore Sandra Lopez said that committing to the AP exam would result in students pushing themselves in order to study  and be more prepared.

“Some advice I have for students [who] are concerned about having to make a decision earlier is that they should look at it as an advantage,” Lopez said, “because they either don’t have to worry about the test, or they can have more time to get serious about it.”

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