AP Exam Changes 2020 Updates

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To keep up with the latest updates with this year’s AP exams, here are the AP exam changes 2020 edition.

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Why The AP Exam Is Different This Year

The College Board asked students whether or not they still want to take the exams this year.

The College Board, which administers the AP exams, recently reached out to students via survey to see if they still wish to move forward with the exams in light of the COVID-19 epidemic.

18,000 AP students were surveyed and over 90% of them responded by saying that they still want to take their exams, despite these trying circumstances. Faced with that overwhelming response, the College Board modified this year’s AP exam administration.

They understand that these students don’t want this opportunity they’ve worked hard for taken away from them.

AP Exam Changes 2020 Edition

The AP Program is adjusting to the current situation and has instituted the following changes for the 2020 exams:

1) For the 2019-2020 AP exam administration only, students are allowed to take a 45-minute online exam at home:

  • Questions will be free-response in nature
  • No multiple-choice questions will be used at this time
  • Development committees led by educations are currently working on which exam questions will be used

2) Because AP course curriculums are developed by school districts, the College Board is deferring to those local districts on how students can best complete their remaining coursework:

  • The new exam will only cover topics and skills that most AP classes have already covered by early March
  • This adjustment helps ensure a level playing field for students since some will have lost significantly more instruction time than others

3) Students are allowed to take these new, online exams on any media device they have access to:

  • The most common ones that you will be able to use are:
    • Computer
    • Tablet
    • Smartphone
  • In addition, the College Board is also allowing students to take a photo of their handwritten answers and work and submit them online.

Either way, the College Board is not restricting access as far as test-taking device options right now.

The College Board also recognizes that this new digital-only format could prevent lower-income and rural students from taking this year’s exams. They are actively working to invest in both the tools and access needed for everyone to receive the same opportunity.

The full exam schedule, as well as information covering specific free-response questions on each AP Exam, will be made available by April 3rd.  This way, students should have enough time to prepare for these adjusted exams.

AP Exam Changes 2020: Test Security

The College Board understands that this online-only format could potentially open up cheating opportunities.

Thankfully, they’re already working to address them now. The questions themselves are being written and designed overall to avoid cheating.

In addition, the College Board will deploy a number of security tools to guarantee the exams’ integrity. For example, plagiarism detection software will be utilized.

These measures should prevent students from getting together and cheating for an unfair advantage over others.

Will Colleges Accept These New Exam Scores?

For anyone worried that colleges and universities will look down on this year’s AP exam results, don’t stress yourself out.

Colleges and universities across the country fully support this solution to make sure AP students receive the hard-earned credit they’ve worked towards this year. More importantly, colleges have accepted modified AP Exam results for college credit in the past because of other emergency situations.

Everyone knows that these are extraordinary times we’re living in, and both the College Board and higher education are working together to accommodate everyone affected.

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