COVID-19 Affects AP Exams

Students comment on the changes and difficulties with taking AP exams during COVID


Sage Marmet

Studying for AP exams is altered during hybrid school

Nina Bush, Contributing Writer

Last spring, the College Board shortened the 2020 AP exams and abbreviated their exams to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic and school shutdowns. This year the College Board has not made as many changes as last year. 

One of the only changes was that some of the math and science tests were pushed back to June. According to Jacob Sahar ‘22 who is taking five APs and two courses at the U of M, pushing these tests back, “Is smart because I think that having them all clustered up would be really unfortunate and would again create more stress for students which isn’t what they are trying to do hopefully at least.” 

Without having finals since winter of their sophomore year and shortened APs last year, the junior class has not needed to study large amounts of material. Additionally, many teachers have needed to reduce the material they teach. According to Sahar, this will result in “self studying,” or students having to teach themselves material that will be on AP exams, and do most of the studying for these exams on their own. He further explains, “there are some drawbacks [to this year’s APs]…some students are going to be taking them…after taking [the class ends]. Its partially reliant on students to self study, which I feel like shouldn’t be the purpose of these test it shouldn’t be how well can you self study versus others but I feel like that is really what is going to differentiate students this year which is kind of unfair, but it is how it is”

Shreya Mohan ‘22, who is taking four AP tests this spring, feels that “this new schedule will be semi-helpful, but that there are pros and cons to it. “I get more time to study for physics which is great, but I think, like the fact that math and physics are on this same day is just hard because I don’t want to take two math based tests back to back for like 6 hours.”

Additionally with COVID, it has been hard for many classes to stay on track. As Sahar puts it, “we are not being taught at the same level we would be during normal years, so this is going to put a lot more stress during the cram times, so it is going to be a lot more self study than it already is…college board is already…forces teachers to follow a certain rubric and changes the way we are being taught, and if your teacher doesn’t teach to that standard, and a lot of teachers don’ means it is going to be a lot of self studying and I think it is really disappointing that it is going to be like that this year as well.”

Despite these issues with the pandemic, teachers have done a good job adapting to reduce student stress while still maintaining a rigorous curriculum. According to Sahar, “they are definitely making adjustments…the teachers are trying…to lessen the loads and make it more manageable,” but “they are definitely not…go[ing] easy on us, but I appreciate that too. Going into these classes, you are willingly taking on some pain…but it ends up being worth it…you learn a lot, it is enjoyable, good community, good people, you are with the students you want to be with so it’s fun…it’s definitely as rigorous.”