AP exam schedule altered for online students

To accommodate online students, the College Board is offering both in-person and online exams. Souderton will be offering testing during all three administrations and allowing virtual students to take in-person exams.


**Prepping for exams…***Reviewing material for the AP exams, senior Hagar Eldeeb prepares to take online AP exams. Eldeeb will be taking exams for statistics, environmental science, and psychology in late May and early June.* *Photo reprinted with permission from Hagar Eldeeb*

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The College Board has offered three administrations of AP exams, with options for both in-person and online exams to accommodate students affected by the pandemic.
The first administration will take place from May 3-17 (in-person), the second administration will take place from May 18-28 (in-person and online), and the third administration will take place from June 1-11 (in-person and online).
Online AP exams this year will be different from the 2020 exams. Exams will run for the same amount of time as the in-person exams and will have both free-response and multiple choice questions.
The College Board designed specific safety protocols for the online exams. Exams will restrict students from viewing previous questions, and the exams have a synchronous worldwide start time. There are also security features built into the test to prevent cheating.
Social studies teacher William Shiver believes that the security measures will maintain the integrity of the exams. Shiver is a teacher with the online education provider EdGenuity. Shiver teaches AP Psychology.
Junior Layla Wahaidi plans to take her AP exams online to avoid the risk of COVID-19.
“I am planning to take the exams online. I have been online all school year, so it made sense to just stay safe and stay online as well,” Wahaidi said. “Also, due to religious purposes, I will be fasting. Because the online exams are later, I won’t be fasting.”
Wahaidi is taking exams for US history, biology and calculus.
However, senior Hagar Eldeeb decided to take the exams online because she preferred taking them at home.
“I remember taking in-person one time and I didn’t like it. I preferred being at home, and anxiety-wise it was a lot easier for me to handle,” Eldeeb said. Eldeeb is taking exams for statistics, environmental science and psychology.
According to AP coordinator Austin Wisser, one of the biggest criticisms of the online exam format is the inability to move freely between questions. Once a student passes a question, they will not be able to return to it.
“The thing that made us hesitant about the online exam is that you cannot go back to any answered or unanswered questions,” Wisser said.
Science teacher Patrick Murphy recommends that students take the in-person exams, if possible.
“The biggest piece is the inability to go back on questions you’ve already passed through and once you’ve committed to an answer you can’t go back,” Murphy said. “Time management, which has always been a problem in AP classes, becomes exacerbated.”
Shiver does not recommend one exam type over the other and sees benefits to both.
“I don’t think one is preferable to the other unless you’ve got students who have a higher level of anxiety because they don’t want to be in person,” Shiver said. “ I feel like if you are prepared, you won’t have a problem with either.”