Counselor shares tips on taking AP exams online

STUDY: Avice Perez, college counselor at Father Duenas Memorial School, says students can take advantage of online programs to practice for the Advanced Placement Exams, which the College Board recently announced will be offered online. Photo courtesy Avice Perez 

With the nation still working its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Board has announced that the Advanced Placement Exams will be completed from home this year. The tests will be administered May 11-22 and make up tests will be administered June 1-5.

These exams are typically administered in classrooms, but with the government taking various precautions to stop the spread of the respiratory illness, various programs are adjusting. 

The College Board will be offering the exams online, according to the website, and those who have no internet or a device at home are encouraged to call their schools for help in filling out a form on the College Board's website at apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students. The deadline to submit this form is April 24.

"Complete your AP journey by taking your AP Exam online on any device you have access to – computer, tablet, or smartphone. You’ll also have the option to write your responses by hand and submit a photo. We’ll support you through exam day with testing date options and free resources," the website states. 

Taking the AP exam offers some advantages, including a chance to earn a college credit. 

"We’re confident that the vast majority of Higher Ed institutions will award credit as they have in the past," College Board official stated on the website. "We’ve spoken with hundreds of institutions across the country who support our solution for this year’s AP Exams." 

Avice Perez, the college counselor at Father Duenas Memorial School, answered several questions pertaining to student preparation:

Question: College Board announced that this year’s AP Exams will be open book/open note. What do you think about this?

Answer: I think it would be nice to see how students respond to the non-traditional testing methods and may possibly be something that is used in the future, or not.

Q: What tips can you share with students?

A: Focus on open-ended questions. Keep in mind terminology, particular to that course. Take advantage of the college board, online classes, with experienced AP Teachers.

Continue to study and prepare for the AP Exams with any materials (you) currently have, and ... also take advantage of Collegeboard’s AP test prep resources online.

Be familiar with the AP Exam schedules online, particularly (Hawaii’s exam schedule) so that students are familiar with the time frame they may be working with.

Considering that (Guam's) test schedule may be at inconvenient times, be sure to wake up at least two hours prior to your exams so that you will be mentally prepared and not still in sleep mode.

Stay in tune with College Board’s AP exam updates for any possible changes.

Q: Wouldn’t an online test cause a massive problem in academic dishonesty?

A: I think the students would already have the necessary tools with information by using their book and notes.

Q: What about students who do not have access to technology during this pandemic?

A: Students who do not have access should contact their AP Teacher or AP Coordinator.

Q: The multiple-choice questions were removed. What do you think about this recent change?

A: I think it would be a good change because it would allow students to synthesize their responses, whereas multiple-choice questions would not necessarily give the same opportunity. I think sometimes students rely on what’s already in front of them as opposed to using prior knowledge.

Q: When can Guam students take the AP exams?

A: Students should refer to the College Board website for the exam schedule.

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