The College Board Does Not Have Students Best Interest

The College Board is administrating full AP tests during an abnormal school year.

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   Many say junior year is the hardest year, and I would have to agree; between AP tests, the SATs, and everything in between, it takes a toll on students’ mental health and their self-worth, especially with so much riding on those tests scores and grades. 

   The College Board claims they are here to “help millions of students navigate the transition from high school to college.” How are they helping students by taking standardized tests and AP classes that they are not ready for? How is it fair for one score to determine the rest of your life? Well, it’s not. 

  The AP exams this year, whether you are taking it online or in-person, are still the full test despite the major blow to students’ education. This year has been anything but normal, and students’ education has been severely hindered, and yet the College Board continues to pile on full exams as if students got the same education as years past. I know I have missed plenty of school; between the school year ending abruptly and having to quarantine multiple times this school year (resulting in me missing a ton of class time and instruction), I have not received the education I need in order to be prepared for these exams. Not to mention the two-month period in November and December of 2020 when all of TCAPS was online. Despite the two-month remote learning, we have it better than students around the country and in Michigan, since they have been online since September and just stepped into school for the first time in March, which puts them at an even higher disadvantage than us. 

   For the online AP exams, students can not go back and forth between questions, unlike the in-person exam. Why shouldn’t students be able to go back and check their answers? What if you get a hard calculus problem and want to move on to an easier problem and then go back to the harder one? If the College Board is not going to allow students to go back and forth on questions, then they need to either extend the testing time or get rid of the timed tests altogether. 

   Students across the country have recognized how AP tests this year are not fair and are practically set up for students to fail. Students from Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Philadelphia came up with a petition to “demand that College Board revises unfair AP testing” for this school year. The petition is asking the College Board to “cancel the current digital exam policy of being unable to return to previous questions,” allow students to use notes on the test, and refund all students taking the AP test. If you would like to sign the petition, use the QR code below. 

   One option instead of taking loads of AP classes is dual enrollment. For dual enrollment, the high school pays for the college classes and materials, unlike the AP exams where students have to pay $96 for every test they plan to take; most students do not take only one AP class. They typically take two all the way up to four or five. To take five AP tests, students must pay $480 for a test where they might not even get college credit. At least for dual enrollment, students do not have to pay to take the class or an exam and if you pass the class you get college credit.