Students Taking AP Exams Share Their Concerns


By Lauren Reiser and Lily Waterman

As a result of the essentially worldwide pandemic due to COVID-19, students of all ages are now faced with the unprecedented task of continuing their education online. Although many students likely enjoy sleeping later, distance learning has both its benefits and disadvantages. 

While quarantine is certainly difficult for all types of students, many high schoolers must now take their AP exams virtually at home, which is causing a lot of stress and anxiety for many AP students. 

For this year, most AP exams have been shortened to 45 minute online tests that will consist of 1-2 open ended questions and cover a reduced amount of material. Since AP exams are usually three-hour tests with multiple parts, many students are worried that virtual tests will not give them the same opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

“It’s crazy that we only have 45 minutes to take a test that is supposed to cover an entire year’s worth of material. I hope the exams are still representative of what we learned this year,” said Wayne Hills Junior Gabrielle Goldman. “I also hope we still have the same chance to score well even though there are fewer questions.” 

The College Board has issued statements regarding the reassurance the usual AP level scoring and scales will be upheld this year as well.

Many students have also struggled to study effectively when they are stuck at home everyday with limited methods to interact with teachers and other classmates. The College Board has been putting out live and recorded video lectures to help, but it is difficult to stay on task without the normal reinforcement from school and teachers themselves. 

“This year the AP exams feel like an even greater challenge than normal because of the lack of contact with teachers and overall change in study environments” says Junior Hazel Hinners.

Even though many students have taken advantage of scheduled zoom calls and online AP review materials, the inability to physically meet with teachers has proved to be very challenging.

“It’s nerve-racking for students taking their first AP exams when we don’t have the stability of our teachers and classes to rely on and help us prepare” says Junior Joelle Ricci.

There is also the concern of technological difficulties happening during the test. Even though there is a makeup date in June, most students are looking to finish up their exams so they don’t have to continue their tremendous studying and preparation for another month. The College Board have also emphasized the issues involved with cheating and technical issues, without adding much hope or advice about the issues.

“I’m most afraid of there being technical difficulties during my exam that I can’t control, since we only have 45 minutes to prove that we have sufficiently learned a certain subject throughout the year. My teachers have prepared me well, but certain factors still make me nervous for the exam day, no matter how many practice exams and demos I’ve done” says Junior Lydia Yang.

Junior Samantha Baghal says “It’s really nerve-racking not knowing what to expect on AP exams. Aside from being nervous about the time constraint, I’m pretty worried about potential technological issues. Considering that everyone is taking these exams at the same time, the possibility of servers crashing is a growing concern, contributing even more to pre-exam anxiety.”

As most students are beginning to feel the stress, Junior Anshul Sinha says “I’m not really stressed out about AP exams since my teachers have prepared me well and I’ve studied a lot. The only thing that slightly stresses me out is that I have 5 exams in a 4 day stretch.”

At the end of the day, it is just important to remember at this time of crisis to do the best you can! AP scores are important but not everything, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Good luck to all taking any exams in the next two weeks!

Check out the Video Morning Announcements from Friday May 8, 2020 for some words of wisdom from Wayne Hills AP Teachers!!