What is the AP exam?
Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students.
A lot is at risk for students taking AP exams, even in normal times. If you score high enough, you can earn college credit. It’s also a big consideration in college applications. But for some students, the idea of studying right now feels impossible. Students are overwhelmed with thoughts, so their families do not get sick. Others are juggling additional responsibilities, like taking care of siblings.
Main concerns about the AP exams during the coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has created challenges to education around the world. But the virus has created a problem for students living with families overseas. AP exams impact their college career. That is why it’s importance cannot be underestimated. Due to scheduling for worldwide testing, students in some places will be taking AP tests at night.
Concerns and worries about the coronavirus have put most standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, on hold. A lot of students thought that AP exams would also be cancelled due to the coronavirus. But since the tests are being offered, students have to take them not to look bad on their applications.
Because of the new format, this year’s AP exams won’t be measuring the same thing as previous years’ exams. For one, the new tests will cover less material. And changing where kids take it — from a proctored classroom to their laptops at home — is a big deal. However, some colleges are already adjusting. The University of California system has come out explicitly to say it won’t change the way it credits AP scores.
What about the scheduling?
The timing of the AP exams administered by the College Board is something more than 5,000 American students stationed overseas with their families will have to battle. Because of changes made in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, students in some foreign time zones have been scheduled for AP exam times ranging from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Some of them said they thought it was a joke or something since the idea was kind of an absurd.
According to the College Board, AP exams will be held simultaneously worldwide in May, with various exams scheduled over the course of several days. The schedule means that while stateside students test during normal business hours, kids on European bases will be taking exams as late as 11 p.m. In Guam, AP exams for subjects including foreign languages, physics and government will be conducted at 2 a.m. And in Japan and Korea, the College Board has scheduled tests for classes including AP calculus, chemistry and biology at three in the morning.
Is there some kind of solution?
This situation with the AP exams during the coronavirus has created a lot of distraction. Angry parents, teachers and students feel the same way, taking to the internet to voice their concerns. The College Board has said kids can choose not to take the test with no cancellation fee. The organization didn’t respond to specific questions about other solutions posed by parents, students and teachers. Also, the College Board says international students who are not satisfied with their scores will get a voucher for a free CLEP exam, which is a second opportunity to earn college credit.