College Board switches to online AP exams due to fears of coronavirus


Itzel Luna

Because of the spread of the coronavirus, College Board has decided to switch the 2020 AP exams to an online platform.

Valery Barrera

After an anticipated wait to decide whether or not students will be given a chance to earn the college credit they worked for, College Board has announced that AP testing will continue through an online platform.

“We are finalizing streamlined AP exam options that would allow students to test at home,” College Board said in a statement on their Instagram account. “We are working to give every AP student the opportunity to claim the credit they’ve earned.”

According to College Board, students nationwide will be able to take a 45-minute free-response exam on two different dates for each course, one in May and one on a later date. On March 25, College Board began providing free daily video lessons taught by AP teachers for each course.

“I think that this is very beneficial for me because I feel that I will have more knowledge and facts than what I have in my brain right now,” sophomore Chareena Pascua said. “Being that my learning got cut short.”

By April 3, a full schedule will be released for all AP exams as well as what each exam will focus on. They will also address any questions students and families might have about each course. AP teachers were reached out to and informed on the new guidelines for their convenience. To prevent cheating, each exam will be measured by the skills students developed over the course.

“If there is an easier way, then people are going to try to find a way (to cheat), whether it be to contact others taking the AP test or directly looking up the answers,” senior Bianca Lam said. “And with some AP tests that isn’t really an option but I know at least one student will try because, why not?”

Student responses will be monitored by plagiarism detection software and responses that mirror content from the web or other submissions will be disqualified. According to College Board, AP exams will also be considered ‘open-note.’

“In an attempt to offer students a college-like experience, they [students] are open to use the resources provided to best answer exam questions,” College Board said in an email to Palo Alto High School’s Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson.

College Board also decided that students won’t be tested on content that is taught in the last 25 percent of an AP course. On March 20, College Board posted a list of what units will be tested on the AP exam for each course.

“Our focus will remain on your safety and ensuring all students have the tools they need to work and opportunities to receive the credit they have earned, during this challenging time,” College Board said.