UPDATE on The College Board AP Exams

Dr. Bruce C. Neimeyer

April 8th, 2020

As anticipated, the College Board released significant new information about this year’s online, at-home, 45-minute AP exams. Read more about our key takeaways.

As anticipated, the College Board released significant new information about this year’s online, at-home, 45-minute AP exams. Key takeaways:

Multiple-choice is out. All questions will be free-response questions (FRQs)—mainly essays and short answers, with some speaking exercises for language exams.
Students can choose between May and June testing windows, but June is intended as a backup/make-up date. Note: if students have technical difficulties on the June date that prevent them from testing or submitting their answers, they WON'T be able to retake the exam. Exams will be administered at the same time worldwide.
Exams will be “open note/open book,” with anti-cheating tech systems in place.
Students with accommodations will still receive them. CB claims they will be automatically factored into the testing experience provided for the student.
CB is “working with partners to provide thousands of Chromebooks and tablets” to students who do not have computers if their schools cannot. Students need to reach out to CB before April 24 to request tech resources.
Many people have been curious about whether colleges will really offer credit for this year’s AP exams. In a webinar, Trevor Packer, Senior VP of the AP program, reassured counselors of CB’s conviction here. He noted that the majority of AP scores are sent to only about 200 schools and that colleges themselves are already grappling with college credit for their currently enrolled students and courses. The University of California system has also already announced it will accept this year’s AP exam scores for credit.
See CB’s FAQ for more info.
Our Takeaway: Most students should plan on testing in May. Because of the timing of each exam, students outside the time zones of the contiguous U.S. need to be ready to test at odd hours. We agree with CB’s confidence in colleges’ likelihood of giving credit for exams, if only because this is not a good year to rock the boat when it comes to generosity.

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