Hills prepares to hold AP exams in person, at home

“College Board provided school districts with the option to administer the exams in multiple formats… paper or virtual,” Pascack Hills guidance counselor Alexa Petzold explained.

The+%E2%80%9C5+Steps+to+a+5%E2%80%9D+preparation+book+for+the+AP+Physics+1+exam.+Teachers+of+the+course+recommend+it+to+students+for+studying.

Trailblazer file photo

The “5 Steps to a 5” preparation book for the AP Physics 1 exam. Teachers of the course recommend it to students for studying.

Recently, the district revealed Advanced Placement test dates for this school year. After students registered for their AP exams at the end of October, the dates for the tests were officially confirmed in an email sent out in March by Assistant Superintendent Barry Bachenheimer.

College Board provided school districts with the option to administer the exams in multiple formats… paper or virtual,” Pascack Hills guidance counselor Alexa Petzold explained. “After consulting with AP staff, the AP calendar was constructed.”

College Board provided school districts with the option to administer the exams in multiple formats… paper or virtual.”

— Alexa Petzold, Hills guidance counselor

The AP tests will be completed approximately over a month from May 5 to June 8. Students will be taking the tests on the assigned dates at home or in person at Hills. The tests are going to be administered at one of the following times: 8 a.m., 12 p.m., or 4 p.m.

The number of tests in person or at home varies. For example, Physics I, Spanish Language, and Calculus AB are all in person, while English Literature, Biology, and US History are at home. There does not seem to be a reason why certain tests are virtual. 

One could argue a class such as English Literature, which requires three essays, would be more convenient for students virtually; on the other hand, Physics, which requires written mathematical work on paper that would be difficult to manage on a computer, would be better in person. All tests taken in person will follow guidelines advised by health officials.

If a student that has been advised to quarantine by a physician or has been on the remote learning plan all year is scheduled for a paper/in school exam and is unable to take this exam in school, they will be assigned a digital/at home make up date,” Bachenheimer clarified in his recent email about the testing schedule. 

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The college application process has been altered in many ways because of the pandemic, AP tests being no exception. While colleges this year are adjusting their policies about standardized tests such as the SAT in students’ applications, AP tests will be counted as normal in colleges.

“The AP exams are full-length exams this year and colleges/universities will continue to adhere to their distinct AP policies,” Petzold commented.

AP testing is a concept that high school students have been experiencing for decades and is still going strong despite the limitations that come with the pandemic. Last school year, however, tests were taken entirely from home, and many Hills students had issues submitting their exams due to errors with the College Board exam software.

There is not much information on what the future holds with AP testing, especially when it comes to how tests will be administered with the virtual versus in-person format. 

The College Board has not yet provided guidance on future AP exam administrations,” commented Petzold. 

Nevertheless, high school students still vigorously prepare for these tests as they quickly approach, and hopefully, there will be more confirmation on how the College Board will approach them this next year and the years to come.