No. The exams are not comprehensive.

Aaliyah Yan, Editor-in-Chief

It seems that in a matter of weeks, our lives have been turned upside down due to COVID-19. The daily routines we have been so accustomed to over the years have gone out the window. Everything is now online, from our schoolwork to our AP Exams. 

The College Board has decided to reduce the AP Exams from what was once a grueling three-hour exam to a 45-minute free-response question (FRQ). This begs the question of whether or not this 45-minute exam can accurately determine how well a student has learned the curriculum. Many students worry, myself included, that the one or two questions asked may not be the material they studied hard for, therefore negatively affecting the score they may end up receiving. 

With multiple choice and several FRQs covering all the units, students had a better chance of getting a good score. Furthermore, different students excel at different sections, for example, a student can be well versed in multiple-choice rather FRQs.

Then comes the problem of cheating. Though the AP Exams this year are open note, does it accurately represent how much you know the subject? Or are you spitting back facts you read? There is also the possibility of paying someone or having someone take your place in the AP Exam (say an older sibling who already took it and scored high). 

Another factor of the AP Exams this year is that College Board has also shortened the content covered on the test, meaning students only need to know 75% of the material. My question is how will that be fair in future college classes? Take AP Chemistry for example, students cannot be expected to go into a college-level chemistry class not knowing about acids and bases. 

There is also talk about some colleges placing an entrance exam on certain courses which would defeat the purpose of the AP Exams. Students did not have to pay hundreds of dollars to take an exam that would get waved by the college. 

Overall though, I cannot say that the College Board has our worst interest at heart. They, like the rest of us, have never faced a pandemic before, so I do think they are trying their best given the worst.