As we close out on a school year like no other, many of us are taking AP Exams – once again – from home. According to the College Board website, “digital exams will be full length and test the same knowledge and skills as paper and pencil exams, in a format-appropriate manner”.
Students had to download the exam onto their laptops in advance to prepare for test day. On the day of, students were asked to log on thirty minutes before the test started to launch the program.
Once the test starts, a timer is displayed above the window telling students how much time they have left in the current section. Between sections, another timer is displayed showing how much time students have left in the break.
Aubrey Walker said that “testing from home can be chaotic and challenging for many, so I am ready for next year when we are testing in person.” She went to her grandparent’s house to take her exams “because it is quieter.”
This change to AP Exams had advantages and disadvantages. Lily Bowman said she “liked being able to sit at home and to walk around during breaks”. She also enjoyed having the timer, as it helped her to manage her time better.
Physics teacher Mr. Booher said, “when you learn something in a particular environment, you associate the thing you learn with that environment. So if you take it at school you would have been in some random room and that might make it harder to access the knowledge. But if you take it from home, it will be where you learned a lot of the information, so that might help”.
The language AP exams were the only ones administered in the school building. Lily Bowman took the AP French Exam and said it was “similar to an SAT.” She also noted that it was “interesting to be in a room with everyone else while listening to the speaking sections and speaking French.
The College Board offered a hotline service for those experiencing technical difficulties during their exam. It was stressed to testers that if we experienced technical problems during the exam, there would be nothing Freeman faculty would be able to do about it – it would be up to the College Board to help.
The Mavericks once again rose to the challenge and AP Exams were generally a success. But I think it is safe to say that we are all hoping for a return to normal next school year.