- Noah Baruch
AP Digital Testing
Updated: Jun 1, 2021
Since the pandemic, many modifications have been made in basically all aspects of life and AP exams are no exception. The College Board has had to adjust the format on AP exams to fit the needs of the students. In 2020, AP exams were abridged and delivered digitally across the board, but this year AP’s returned to their full lengths and were offered both in person and online. The majority of students who tested last year were happy with the quick move to online because their tests were easier and shorter- 45 minutes. This year however, many students, myself included, felt the challenges of online testing. Sitting at your desk, in the comfort of your own home to take an exam may seem like a relaxing way to test but it’s not ideal for all students.
There was no moving back and forth between questions. This was difficult as many of us like to mark questions we aren't sure of and go back to them at the end. The AP English and Literature exams had a new annotation tool that students had to learn and adjust to. Many claimed this tool slowed them down. The online version also did not allow a student to submit handwritten responses and upload them as was allowed last year. Even typing into a google doc and pasting it into the exam wasn't allowed. Students had to type their answers directly into the platform. Online exams were also harder in time management as there was no proctor reminding students of time left. There were also the worries of computer glitches, power loss or internet/wifi disruptions. The tests were three hours long and many found it hard to sit and test at a computer for that long.
The old fashioned way of in person testing removes all of these obstacles, gets us dressed and out of the house in the morning and puts us one step closer to life as we knew it. I vote paper and pencil but the truth is we all have to learn to adapt as adaptation is a key element in survival and success. As Charles Darwin states “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”