Yes. The exams are fair and still thorough.

Liza Armstrong, Online Editor

In light of current events, the College Board has decided to revamp their typical grueling three-hour exam into a 45 minute one with one or two open response questions. Also, the exam will be open notes so that some element of cheating is taken out. While many frown upon these revisions, I, as a sufferer of senioritis, welcome College Board’s revision with open arms (even if it was designed as a way to make sure they still made money). 

First off, many students are disgruntled that there will be no multiple choice section this year. Typically a good place to score some points needed for a 4 or 5. However, I’ve always been one to struggle with this (especially in the AP English exams where much of it is up to interpretation). However, the open-response sections are where the majority of points are either earned or lost in a regular AP test. Basically, if you couldn’t have written a good open response anyway the best you’re looking at is a 3 (as someone who cannot write a history paper to save their life I’m telling you that is based on experience). Also, due to AP’s rigid rubric, it’s not that hard to score highly if you study. With that in mind, look at your AP exam’s rubric ahead of time and trust me, answer as closely as you can to the guide of what they are looking for and you’ll be fine.

Also, the addition of open notes does not mean an easier way to cheat. College Board has added multiple ways to detect plagiarism including a program that can detect how similar responses are to online sources and giving AP teachers a chance to look over their students’ responses to see if anything is too similar. So unless you’re a veteran cheater or extremely creative, odds are you would get caught by either of these standard cheating methods.  

As a graduating senior, I also enjoy that these exams are offered. For the college I’m attending, AP’s get me out of a gen-ed requirement, but none of them can be applied to my major. Therefore, it is better for the vast majority to swallow the $100 test fee and attempt to take these new tests, because in the end it can cost you more to take a class in college that isn’t related to your future field of study. However, I know that it is a case by case basis, so I’d recommend looking into your college to see what their AP credit policy is before you choose to take an exam or not.

 In the end, College Board is a business that wants money and is still finding a way to profit off these exams. Are the new exams as comprehensive as the old ones? No, but I believe that they are a fair option that will not hurt most test takers to try.