2021 AP exams update
By Tucker Dimberg
College Board Advanced Placement Exams (AP Exams) are a daunting part of every student’s academic career. Last year, many were left dazed and confused after the dramatic altering of every exam to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many were not happy with how the exams turned out and are anxiously awaiting the coming May to see how the next version will be handled. According to the College Board, this year; tests are scheduled for the weeks of May 3rd – May 7th and May 10th – May 15th.
Jen Lee, Ponte Vedra High School AP coordinator, explains, “We take the advice given by AP College board and incorporate that into our testing in a way that we think will suit our school the best.” The College Board has been hesitant to make any claims as to how they will be administering tests until recently when they stated that “The AP Program will support in-school testing in 2021 because administering exams in schools maximizes access and opportunity.” This should soothe the fears of students who feel like the shortened versions of their exams that they were subject to last year didn’t suit them fairly.
So that students feel comfortable registering by the fall deadline, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams.
The College Board also addresses the students who aren’t comfortable going to a school to take the exams given the current situation. Acknowledging the ever-changing health landscape heading into 2021, the College Board recognizes “So that students feel comfortable registering by the fall deadline, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams.” They are letting all students register for their exams and cancel without the normal $45 cancellation fee if they are not completely sure of their status before May. As for students who do not attend the in-person exams, there is a much vaguer statement by the College Board “If safety concerns still prohibit any students from testing at a school, we will provide a contingency testing option that contains full course content.” There has been no clarity as to the availability of online AP Exams in 2021 or how the alternative test will be handled by the College Board and many distance learners seem to be playing the waiting game for now.
Whatever the situation come May, the College Board has assured that all content will be tested on the next wave of exams, unlike the 2020 exams where some content was thrown out. They have also not considered postponing the dates of the exams, even posting a full schedule, implying they are not considering this move. A lot remains to be seen come May 2021, and the College Board as well as PVHS will handle whatever is thrown at them accordingly.