2021 AP exams bring sweeping changes to testing


College Board

This year, Clark Magnet will offer a combination of in person and remote AP exams due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning, the College Board announced that AP exams will be modified once again to accommodate test-takers and reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. At Clark Magnet, some exams will be administered digitally and some will be administered in-person traditionally, with proper safety precautions in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

At Clark, all world language, mathematics, and most science exams will be administered traditionally in-person, on paper and on campus, with proper COVID-19 safeguards in place such as mask wearing and social distancing. The rest of the exams will be offered digitally and for students to take from their homes. Depending on the severity of the pandemic, the exams may be offered in-school digitally.

In a presentation given to parents and students in February, information was released on the safety protocols that will be in place during in-person exam administrations. In order to be admitted onto campus to take in-person exams, students will need to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, have their temperature checked, and wear face coverings during the entire length of their presence on campus. Students will be assigned to cohorts that they will remain with the whole time they are on campus.

During the exam administrations themselves, windows and doors will be opened to help with ventilation, and bathroom breaks will be limited for students. Because of social distancing guidelines, more than one classroom or location may be used for an exam. Clark Magnet is following the six-feet social distancing rule during the administration of in-person AP exams.

Senior Abigail Castro feels like the accommodations are useful and necessary. “I think the plan of having some at school and some at home is a good opportunity for students. The reason I say this is because if my computer were to crash, I’ll be able to take the next one or take it at school,” Castro said. “I feel like there should’ve been an equal opportunity to take it at home and at school. This is mainly for safety reasons for both faculty and students,” Castro said.

Senior Laura Minasian said that she feels hesitant about this year’s exams. ”By no fault of my teachers, I feel less prepared than previous years to take a full-length AP exam,” Minasian said. “I also have the feeling that transitioning from learning remotely almost a year to suddenly taking several three hour long in-person exams will be overwhelming, but I hope that’s not the case.”