The Future of AP Exams


Lauren Raziano

A display of AP Biology, AP European History, and an AMSCO AP World History Textbook

Lauren Raziano, Web Editor

The AP Tests are here. The AP exams are having a twist this year as they will be given at home, as online 45 minute exams. 

Exams are being given May 11–22 and each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide, to limit cheating.

The College Board’s goal is to make the AP test available for everyone. The exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March, meaning that most subjects are cutting out 2-3 sections of material they usually test on. 

Sarah Flenner, a senior at Archmere Academy taking 3 AP exams this year comments, “It’s challenging that we have to take these tests at home but I’m thankful the College Board is giving us the opportunity to still earn credit from all of the hard work we did this year. They have provided many resources for students during this tough time.”

This year, like many college-level exams, the AP Exams will be open book/open note. Students will be able to access the internet and use Google Docs or Word Docs to type their responses for the test. Students will also be able to take exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Mr. Klinge, an AP College Board reader and the current AP Literature and AP Language teacher at Archmere, says, “I think the College Board is making the best of an unprecedented situation: they truncated the expectations, posted a lot of support materials for everyone across the nation, and made the test times and expectations relatively manageable. Students have the opportunity to earn the credit they have worked towards during the year, even if it all comes down to one or two questions.”  

Ms. Witte is the chair of the History department and teaches AP European History and AP Seminar. She has some concerns about the exam format. ”At first I was worried about what the exam format would look like. Many teachers were predicting a variety of options” said Witte. “For the AP histories, I feel pretty confident about it being a Document-based question in regards to our students being able to perform well on that type of assessment.”  

Students wonder if one or two short answer questions will accurately be able to test the information that they learned this year but with confident teachers, students should succeed. Amelia Klinger, a junior taking three AP exams says, “I really like this year’s APS  because although they still cost the same for an at home test and they don’t test us as strongly on our knowledge, they are much less stressful and I feel more confident in my results. ”

The AP exams this year will not only test if students can handle the stress of taking the exams, but also the problems of internet connection issues or other unforeseen circumstances. If there are problems, there are makeup test dates that will be available for each subject June 1–5.

Many high school students take AP classes and exams hoping to score high enough to earn college credit. Rohit Mathur, a junior taking four AP exams, worries whether his hard work in his AP classes this year will come to fruition as uncertainty arises regarding whether colleges will accept this year’s AP exams for credit, “ With the shorter tests, the scores may not accurately test if students have learned enough information to be considered college credit, I wonder if in the future colleges will no longer accept high AP scores in lieu of a college credit course.” Leading with many questions about prices, scores, and internet problems Ms. Witte wonders, ”What is the future of AP tests?”

As the first week of AP Tests are over, a new week may bring more problems as more and more students are added to the list of makeup AP exams with the website crashing and difficulties with submission uploads.