The schedule for the 2020 AP exams has been released. Here are some important changes for students to be aware of:
WHEN: All exams are now in the weeks of May 11th and May 18th. As originally planned, the start of the exam depends on one’s time zone. This way, all students across the country will be taking the test at the same moment, no matter the time in their locations. Depending on which exam we’re taking, we in the Eastern time zone, have three possible times: 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 4:00 PM.
MAKE-UPS: There are also make up days the week of June 1st. Although it was at one point suggested to have two options of days to take the test based on the student’s preference, that is not what was eventually decided. “Essentially, what they landed on,” explains AP coordinator Mr. Clendenning, “was that they are going to have a ‘regular testing’ and ‘late testing’ period, just like normal.” The make-up days are for emergencies as is typical for AP exams. One change is that this year, technical difficulties is a reason for not being able to take the test during the regularly scheduled time. In that regard, Mr. Clendenning says, “My advice to students would be to definitively plan on taking their AP tests at the normally scheduled time during the weeks of May 11th or May 18th, and if they need to reschedule to contact me as soon as possible and I will look into it.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: Along with the new technological aspect of the tests, College Board released exactly what the testing time periods will look like. For example, students taking the AP Psychology test (Tuesday, May 19th at 2:00 PM) will have 25 minutes to read and respond to Question 1 followed by 5 minutes to upload the response, after which they will not be able to change their answer. Then, they have 15 minutes to answer Question 2 and 5 minutes to upload this response.
HOW TO PREPARE: In their update, College Board gives additional information on the lessons that will and will not be covered on the tests, corresponding FRQs to look at, and the percentage weight each question has on the overall score. The College Board website states that “the exam format and questions are being designed specifically for an at-home administration, so points will not be earned from content that can be found in textbooks or online.” For this reason, it is important to practice application of the lessons as opposed to only memorization of definitions and information.
SCORING: Students should know that there is an “AP Exam Security” page that clearly says that the tests will be open note but that students should not consult with each other. They will be using a plagiarism software to detect any cheating. As in years past, the tests will be graded on a 1-5 scale, and College Board believes that a majority of colleges will accept this year’s credits.
TECHNOLOGY: Exams will be able to be taken on any device, and responses can be typed and uploaded or even hand-written. It is suggested that students access the online testing system 30 minutes before the test time to get set up.
In general, there are a lot of changes to the tests to adapt to the changes that are taking place in our country. However, College Board is trying to make sure the exams are accessible to all students. More information about the exam schedule and information referenced in this article can be found at https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students/taking-ap-exams/ap-exam-schedule#makeup