Students reflect on modified online Advanced Placement exams


Iris Shih

Due to school shutdowns caused by the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the College Board modified the Advanced Placement exams to be administered in an alternative online format from May 11 to May 22. 

According to a student survey and Oracle interviews, MVHS students have had mixed feelings regarding this year’s modified Advanced Placement exams, however, several students still felt sufficiently prepared for their tests.

In an AP exam readiness survey conducted by Oracle which collected 136 responses from students in AP classes, 41.2 percent of students felt well prepared for their AP exams, while 38.2 percent felt unprepared. 

The Oracle surveyed 136 students about their readiness for the modified AP exams.

Advanced Placement exams were heavily modified this year, such as the AP English Composition & Language exam, which was shortened from three essays and an hour of multiple choice questions to one essay. Half, 50.0 percent, of students who participated in the survey felt that they would benefit from the modified formatting. 

“I did feel as prepared as I could have been. I definitely knew how to do everything each test asked of me,” sophomore Zephyr Jones said.

However, he said the time limit was challenging to adjust to.

I did feel as prepared as I could have been

“I should have practiced more with the time limit… I got a little stressed about it during the test.” Jones said. 

Senior Emma Rohe said she felt sufficiently prepared for her six AP tests. “I think a large part of that was that I already finished my semester classes, so I already knew the curriculum,” Rohe said.

Rohe wasn’t opposed to or unsure about the modifications, but she did express concern over the open note policy.

Each student taking an AP exam was sent an E-Ticket 48 hours in advanced such as this one for an AP Language and composition exam.

“It’s a bit strange that Google is available, like you can just search up whatever you want during the test,” Rohe said.

According to Rohe, technical issues that occured during AP exams were an issue for one of her friends who attends a different school. 

“The CollegeBoard website wouldn’t let them submit their work [because] there was a server overload,” Rohe said. “She is now trying to do a makeup exam.”

Currently, make-up tests are to be administered from June 1 to June 5. 

Despite this, no students who participated in the survey reported being unable to take the modified AP exams.

“I don’t know if I benefited or not because I really don’t know how I would have done with the other test format,” Jones said. “I liked it, it was nice being able to type my essays.”