Dark times; light measures

The Advanced Placement organization is adapting to trying times by giving students some breaks on their tests


Empty high school hallways have become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As states across the country are combating the COVID-19 crisis, high school students’ lives have been uprooted. Lockers are bare; cafeterias are deserted; schools are dark. Classes have gone virtual, either for extended periods of times or even for the entirety of the 2019-20 school year. Some teens who’ve persisted through Advanced Placement (AP) courses are rejoicing at the cancellations, while others were banking on college credit. “The health and safety of educators and students are the AP Program’s highest priorities,” the College Board stated in an email. For that reason, the College Board is switching up their standard protocol, offering 45 minute online tests which can be accessed via smart devices (laptops, phones, and tablets) on two separate dates for all AP courses. 

The health and safety of educators and students are the AP Program’s highest priorities.”

— the College Board

One perk with the at-home testing is not only the condensed time frame, but also the reduced amount of tested content. Students will only be tested on materials taught September-March. The new and improved questions were also designed in a way to prevent cheating. Still, a majority of educators devote an abundant amount of class time in the spring reviewing for their course’s AP Exam. 

Students have been sent a light. Wednesday, March 23, is the first day students will have access to live, free, and daily review sessions delivered by AP teachers from across the country. In tandem with school assigned coursework, these tech tailored lectures should bolster confidence and scores come exam day. These recordings are also on-demand, allowing test takers to go back and watch or re watch at any time. 

So even though schools and tests have been altered, students aren’t being pushed aside. This pandemic has undoubtedly cast a shadow. Yet, with the College Board’s new testing and review options, there’s still hope for those AP students in pursuit of bright futures.