What Did The College Board Do Wrong?

Kimani Dodd, Staff Writer

  This year, students were forced to take their AP exams online due to Coronavirus shutting down schools. While it may have initially been perceived as easier since students were allowed to use their notes and books to assist them, testing day did not go as planned. 

  Multiple students experienced a variety of issues such as technical errors and outdated browsers. Reuben Fuchs (a 17 old student at The American School) took 4 AP exams but was unable to submit 2 of them due to a technical glitch. This issue has led to much frustration; now he is forced to restudy all the material and dedicate additional time towards successfully completing the process. One parent says that her daughter followed all the instructions from the College Board but after submitting the test, received a message saying her submission could not be accepted and that she would have to do the retake in 3 weeks. The College Board even initially acknowledged that tests wouldn’t be fair for students with no computers, access to the internet and students with disabilities and considered the cancellation of AP exams.  Despite these anticipated issues, the College Board decided to take students’ feelings into account by conducting a survey. The survey revealed that 91% of 18,000 students preferred for the exams to be online instead of cancelled so the Board ultimately decided to move forward with online exams. One student said, “The new versions are a gross departure from the tests students have been prepping all year.” Another student believed that the best option was to cancel the test or do the traditional 3 hour exam instead of the 45 minute one. I personally believe that the College Board put feelings over logic.They failed to really evaluate the matter and as a result, students are hurting. Students now have to wait and put in additional study time. There’s no guarantee that the second time around will be better than the first which could negatively affect many students who have worked so hard all year.