Testing: APs Now Online?

Grace Koch , Junior Editor-In-Chief

College Board has announced that May 2023 will offer digital AP testing in seven subjects: AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Lan- guage and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP Seminar, AP U.S. History, and Modern AP World History. Testing online in 2023 will be optional, available in forty-eight US states.

This year, individual schools decide whether to administer tests solely on paper, solely online, or a combination of both. These digital exams will run at the same time and in the same way as paper tests, with the ability to go back and check work on multiple choice questions.Archmere has opted to remain paper-based during this 22-23 school year.

Students seem to be split regarding exam medium preferences. However, of the forty students surveyed who had already taken in-person exams, 84% of students responded that they would choose to take their AP essays online if given the opportunity.

Junior Clara Korley explained that “my hands cramp up when I write for long periods of time and I like the spell check. I think the AP graders would like neatly typed essays as opposed to a messy scrawl which is my typical after long periods of time. If we did the essays online I think we would get higher scores because the graders would better be able to understand the words we wrote and it seems more professional typed, plus you can type faster.”

Although there are several ad- vantages to converting to online AP testing, such as spell-check, saving supplies like paper and pencils, and more uniform handwriting, students like Ryan Finger ‘25 believe that paper scantrons feel “more authentic” and make it easier to focus. Additionally, some students pointed out that there is a larger chance of things going wrong, like the computer dying or the Wi-Fi cutting out.

Switching to online AP exams will have several benefits for students, but it also may have some unpredicted consequences. Making this switch optional was a significant change. Archmere students are curious to see what the future of AP testing holds.