Students in AP Classes Face Changes

The Coronavirus has disrupted the majority of the U.S population’s way of life. From basic household items being sold out nation-wide, to the U.S government advising all to be quarantined within their own homes for public safety, it is no surprise that the educational system also got struck by some major changes as well.

With nearly all schools now continuing classes through online learning, testing agencies such as College Board, the organization in charge of the Advanced Placement Program (AP), found themselves facing a dilemma. This is because students who are currently enrolled in AP classes have been preparing for the AP exams, which if happened according to the original plan, would be taken in early May. In response to the uncertainty of when and if all schools will be open to on-campus classes before the original testing dates in May, College Board decided that it would be best to alter the exams and their dates to best fit the issue.

In an email they sent to AP students on March 20th, they announced that the AP exams would not be taking place as usual (at the student’s school with his or her teacher as the administrator), but at home instead. The test is now reduced to 45 minutes and can be taken at home. Lastly, the exam is optional, with no fees if a student decides not to take it as some may feel less likely to succeed on the exam due to their current situations surrounding the virus. The new exam offered by College Board is certainly a big change from what we are used to, like many of the changes caused by the Coronavirus and its wave effects, but with the consideration that has been taken by College Board, it will still be offered to students who want to take it.

Northwood’s AP teachers sent their students a memo summarizing the changes:

To:        All students taking AP courses at Northwood School
From:   Teachers of AP courses
Re:        AP Exams
Date:     April 6, 2020

Hello from Lake Placid. We miss you very much and hope that this message finds you and your family safe and healthy. We’ve been impressed with the work that our AP students have done since our courses moved online. It is obvious you care about your studies and have been working hard. Way to go!

Late last week we were briefed on the College Board’s plan for AP exams. As you know, the exams will no longer include multiple-choice questions; they will be taken from home and each exam will be approximately 45-minutes long. We’ve created a Frequently Asked Questions About the AP Exams for Northwood Students that we hope will answer your questions.

We are confident that we can prepare you for success on the revised AP exams in May; however, because of the changes to the exam, Northwood will not require students to take their 2020 AP exams. We recommend that all of our students take their AP exams, but you may choose to not take one or more of your exams, provided that you have the permission of your parents/guardians, who are included in this message. See the FAQ for more information on how to opt-out of an AP exam.

Read over the Frequently Asked Questions and then touch base with your teacher or Mr. McCauley, Director of College Counseling or Dr. Finnerty Paul, Dean of Academic Affairs if you have further questions.

Enjoy your spring break and we’ll see you online for review sessions!

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