Fountain Valley students Janna Soliman, left, Jasmine Nguyen, center, Cielo Chavarria, right shared their thoughts on the spring 2021 Advanced Placement tests. (Photos courtesy of Janna Soliman, Jasmine Nguyen and Cielo Chavarria)
Agoura High School

Roaming Reporter: What did students think about the format of AP tests this year?

The spring 2021 Advanced Placement tests were set to take in person, if possible, and online. College Board administered standard three-hour-long exams. In the spring, students shared what they thought of this year’s AP tests to look like this year. Considering the current situation where many students have had to take online instruction, students disagree with the format of the tests.

(Jasmine Nguyen)
“I do not feel that it is fair for the College Board to expect students to carry the burden of a full-length AP test given that the distance learning has already halved their experience learning their AP course. AP tests this year should include writing portions that are shorter and give students a greater opportunity to show the content they have learned in class. I hope that the College Board does not shy away from the regular use of stimulus questions and document-based questions. All in all, AP testing should be conducted in a manner that regards COVID safety measures and is in the best interest for all students,” senior Jasmine Nguyen said.

(Vinh Tran)
“I thought they were adjusted fairly because of the absence of some instructional time. The essays we wrote may have not covered all the content we learned, but I think it accurately gaged the skills that we learned that year. I think it’s interesting how they decided to split up the test administration into three different time frames. I don’t know if that’s the best idea or not, but I’m hoping that the district will choose to give us the option of digital and at school tests, just because of how case numbers and safety are looking right now. I think the situation we are in makes it really difficult to provide an equitable and fair test for all students in different learning models taking the exam. So in that regard, I don’t think it’s right to provide the same test to students who have had normal in-person instruction compared to those who are unable to do so.  I think it’s somewhat unfair how the College Board and some schools are handling the situation right now. A lot of students are really struggling with just managing their own schoolwork and it feels tone-deaf to worry about potential cheating, instead of accommodations,” senior Vinh Tran said.

(Janna Soliman)
“I feel like we may not be as prepared as AP kids usually are. Maybe include less chapters on the tests,” junior Janna Soliman said.

(Cielo Chavarria)
“If the AP tests are in fact “normal” under globally abnormal circumstances, I’d find it inequitable and absurd. While the AP test is ultimately a choice, the opportunity to advance in higher education should be equitable and accessible to all students with the will to learn, and thus, the potential to achieve academic success. Academically, I commend the College Board for offering free AP prep classes online in anticipation for the AP test. I hope the same is offered this year. From the latest update, I believe that the AP testing dates will be pushed back, allowing more time to learn and study material. I also believe that the College Board will give schools and students the option to take the exam in person or at home. As long as circumstances are safe, I agree that giving students the option between at home and in person testing is a step towards equity. As far as the content of the test, it should be abridged and the format should be clearly communicated as soon as possible. I don’t seek an easier test, but a fair shot to excel based on our circumstances. Especially during a time of economic insecurity, I think that AP tests can be made more affordable (specifically, working from fee reductions to fee waivers.) While I don’t qualify for a fee reduction/waiver, we shouldn’t disqualify a student from taking the test because of affordability,” senior Cielo Chavarria said.