Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Wright AP Environmental Science teacher Jennifer Wright arranges her day’s lesson plans. Since the Environmental Science test content will remain the same as traditional exams, Wright aims to cover as much material as possible.

AP exam updates conflict with unpreparedness

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In response to apprehension surrounding the AP exams, the College Board announced revised testing procedures on Feb. 4. Reviewing the updates, students and staff cited the setbacks of distance learning as their main concern.

Depending on the subject, students may take the exams at school, in paper format, or at home, in digital format. Colleges will only provide credit for full-length AP exams, so shortened exams, such as the redesigned tests from last spring, will not be administered this year.

“I don’t feel prepared at all for AP exams this year,” senior David Nhan said. “Because of all the distractions at home, I’m having trouble paying attention in class and understanding the content I’m learning. If I want to have a chance of doing well on the exams, I’m probably going to have to review almost everything that I have learned this year within the next two or three months.”

To provide students more flexibility during the pandemic, the College Board waived all cancellation fees. Refunds for students who decide not to take the exam will be processed two to three weeks after their request.

“Although I plan to take the World History exam, I’m really grateful that the option of cancelling is risk free,” sophomore Tina Dang said. “My teacher has done a great job teaching the material, but this will be my first AP exam. I wish it was under better circumstances where I could be more prepared.”

While considering the lessened instructional time and difficulties of online classes, teachers have also adjusted their lesson plans to account for students’ emotional well-being. AP Environmental Science teacher Jennifer Wright said that she tries to “balance what needs to be covered with supporting students emotionally.”

“It’s been a struggle to make sure that I’m giving students work that will allow them to practice key concepts and critical thinking skills while not overwhelming them with too many different assignments,” Wright said. “With only seeing students twice a week instead of five times, this year has been much more difficult. I’ve tried to listen to feedback regarding the amount of work that I assign and pacing.”

The AP exams will be administered from early May to mid-June, but specific dates will vary by subject. Students can refer to their teachers for further information. 

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