Fear of AP Exams?

How are students reacting to the adjustments being made for AP exams in 2021?

Source: AP CollegeBoard

Source: AP CollegeBoard

AP exams are a part of many high school students’ academic experience. How prepared a student feels for their exams varies. Since this particular year of schooling has been online, this may affect how confident students will be with their performance for exams.

This year’s online learning has caused less time for teachers to give their instruction, in addition to the new model for taking AP exams. These changes may be the reason students have a hesitant approach to their exams this year.

Students aware of these factors, like Emilio Urrutia, have decided to drop an exam, “I’m not taking one of my AP exams because I believe there was not enough time or preparation”.

In response to online learning nationwide, the College Board implemented an application for distance learning students, 2021 Digital AP Exams, in order for students to keep themselves in a safe environment while doing their exams. 

Source: Patriot Press

As students install this new application to their test-taking device, videos and instructions are being given for the new exam model. Since this new method of taking AP exams is technology-based, there is a concern for any unforeseen issues.

Consequently, student Emily Ilan is among this group who has similar feelings toward taking their AP exam, “the fact that the tests are all digital makes me very worried about any technical problems that may occur”. 

Urrutia anticipates technical difficulties when taking the AP exams this year, “This is an issue that inevitably students will face on the day of the exam”.

Similar to the concern for technical issues, students are also worried about the difference between the time teachers were given this year compared to others to prepare them for their AP exam. 

Urrutia is also troubled by this factor of AP classes emphasizing, “The courses this year feel rushed and do not have enough time to receive enough practice or full preparation”.

Although there is a group of students who may not feel as prepared as they should for their AP exams this year, others feel this will not affect their performance. 

Considering less instruction time for teachers, Ilan is not fazed by how she will perform on her AP exams, “I don’t feel more concerned about AP tests this year in terms of what I score”. 

Student Maxim Volkov isn’t troubled by the changes either, emphasizing his experience of an AP course and how he feels, “I’m not more concerned … I was still able to understand important AP concepts in class”.

Ultimately, the possible technical issues and time for preparation are the predominant reasons students are more concerned this school year with how they will perform on the AP exams.