The College Board announced that Advanced Placement exams will be taken at home in May.
The at-home testing option will provide 3 million students worldwide the opportunity to earn the college credit and placement they’ve been working hard toward all school year. The College Board surveyed 18,000 AP students, and 91 percent indicated they wanted to be able to take the exams, according to a press release.
“We surveyed thousands of students from all over the country, and they overwhelmingly want to test,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP & Instruction. “We want to give every student the chance to earn the college credit they’ve worked toward throughout the year. That’s why we quickly set up a process that’s simple, secure and accessible.”
Most AP teachers and students surveyed said they would prefer to test earlier, while the content is still fresh.
- Exams will be given from May 11-22
- Makeup test dates will be available for each subject from June 1-5
- Each subject's exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide.
- The full testing schedule is posted on AP’s website, apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org .
Most exams will have one or two free-response questions, and each question will be timed separately. Students will need to write and submit their responses within the allotted time for each question.
- Students will be able to take exams on any device they have access to — computer, tablet or smartphone. They'll be able to type and upload their responses or write responses by hand and submit a photo via their cell phones.
- For most subjects, the exams will be 45 minutes long, plus an additional five minutes for uploading. Students will need to access the online testing system 30 minutes early to get set up.
- Certain courses — Art and Design: 2D; Art and Design: 3D; Computer Science Principles; Drawing; Research; and Seminar — will use portfolio submissions and will not have a separate online exam. All deadlines for these submissions have been extended to May 26, at 11:59 p.m.
- Students taking world language and culture exams will complete two spoken tasks consistent with free-response questions 3 and 4 on the current AP Exam. Written responses will not be required.
Tips for testing on specific devices will be available in late April, according to the release.
Confronting the digital divide
The digital divide could prevent some low-income and rural students from participating in the at-home tests. AP is working to help students get the connectivity they need to review AP content online and take the exam. If a student needs help with mobile tools or connectivity, there is a form to fill out on AP’s website.
As usual, students' work will be scored by college faculty and AP teachers and will be graded on a 1-5 scale. Scores will be released in July.
Like many college-level exams, this year's AP Exams will be open book and open note. The exam format and questions are being designed specifically for at-home administration, so points will not be earned from content that can be found in textbooks or online.
However, students taking the exams may not consult with any other individuals during the testing period.
“We're confident that the vast majority of AP students will follow the rules for taking the exams,” the release stated.
For those who may try to gain an unfair advantage, AP has a set of protocols in place to prevent and detect cheating. While some of these practices are confidential to maximize their effectiveness, students and education professionals can learn more about our security measures on AP’s website.
Those that attempt to gain an unfair advantage will either be blocked from testing, or their AP scores will be canceled, and their high school will be notified as will colleges or other organizations to which the student has already sent any College Board scores (including SAT scores).
Remote instruction and practice
On March 25, AP began offering free live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. The courses have been viewed more than 3.2 million times since they became available.
In addition to sharing information about these classes with students, teachers who are providing remote instruction can use AP Classroom for most subjects.
AP will provide updates and answer frequently asked questions on their website, apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org .