High school AP students preparing to take final exams online

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 9:11 PM CDT
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Local school districts have made changes to the way students attend school because of COVID-19 concerns.

The next big change is how tests like the AP exams are taken.

Scott Skrla's AP Human Geography class at Rudder High School has been preparing all year for their final exam. Since it is a freshman course, this will be the first time they'll take a test like this.

"We always tell our students that the hardest AP exam you will take will be the first one," said Skrla.

When school was closed in March because of COVID-19, Gianna Guedea said she didn't know how that was going to affect their exams.

"I wanted to know how the AP test was going to be. Knowing that we already paid for it, whether we would still be taking it or if they would change it," said Guedea.

The College Board announced all AP students will take final exams but online. Exam length, structure, and format have changed depending on the course.

For example, the AP Human Geography exam will have no multiple-choice questions, just written responses.

Jonathan Galarza says now he's working harder on his writing skills.

"I'm personally not the best at writing. I don't like writing a lot and the specified time limit is going to pose a challenge for me," said Galarza.

The students are already challenged with the rigorous school work but Skrla says he's preparing them the best he can in the online setting.

"We're able to a least walk them through the exact steps. This is what you need to look for. This is what you need to do. This is how you get the points for these questions," said Skrla.

Skrla says students always have the opportunity to retake the exam if they don't pass to receive that college credit but this year there is one advantage.

"College Board is actually going to send back their test before the semester ends so we'll be able to communicate with them what they did well or what they need to work on if they want to make another attempt at it," said Skrla.

The College Board is also offering additional tools on top of what teachers are already going over.

The AP exams will start on May 11. If students are back in school by then AP students will still take their exams in this format.

For more information on the change