AP exams aren’t fair for students struggling in a pandemic


Sania Hasan

Opinion Editor Marin Klein writes that all students should take AP exams under the same conditions, either digital or in-person, to ensure fairness.

Marin Klein, Opinion Editor

It’s safe to say that in the past year AP classes and exams look very different than they did pre-COVID. As we near the AP exam season we are seeing more changes to adhere to COVID-19 regulations, but are they fair for all students?

On March 9, the College Board announced the AP exam schedule which splits all tests into multiple test dates with two different times. The most surprising part is that some tests such as Languages and Mathematics are in person, while the tests for Sciences and English are at-home tests. Is this really fair? Although the exams for these subjects are different, the students taking exams at home will have a huge advantage over kids taking the exams in person.

While of course in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic it is hard to administer these AP tests and keep everyone safe, there are still ways to do so. The College Board has succeeded in administering the SAT in person, so why can’t the AP exams all be in person? They even have the set up to test all students at home. Overall it would be much fairer for students nationwide who are taking these tests to be tested in the same conditions.

Last year all students took AP exams at home, and many difficulties seemed to show up. The tests were shortened, but a number of students had Wifi issues, submission problems, and glitches that affected their scores or forced them to retake the exams. These problems can easily affect students at home, who now have to deal with a full-length 3-hour test. 

This year has proven to us that we can adjust and adapt to the challenges that the pandemic has presented. It has been a long, hard school year, especially for AP students who had to balance taking half of the AP class in-home and maybe only being in-person a couple of days a week. Some schools have been full-remote all year and been taking AP classes online with no in-person instruction. Is it fair to have a student who has been taking an AP completely online come into a building to test, while other students can go home and have an advantage?

Do you think that AP exams are fair for all students this year?

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These AP exams are extremely important to the students taking them, especially juniors and seniors looking for college credits. Taking exams this year will be an experience, unlike previous years, with students struggling to focus and gain information through Zoom calls. Having exams either 100% in-person or 100% online would give every AP student a fair chance. College Board succeeded in administering the SAT and ACT in person during the pandemic and there’s no reason AP exams can’t be the same.

Yes, the subjects will have the same testing conditions, but all AP students need to have an equal chance for their tests. There is a lot of pressure surrounding these exams, and with an already stressful and mentally draining year coming to a close, students deserve a bit of normalcy and fairness.