By Jillian Haguisan
By April, schools across the United States closed to combat the spread of COVID-19. College Board announced on April 3rd that all AP students would take their AP exams online at home. After the last exam concluded on May 22nd, 91 anonymous students from OBHS completed an online survey, where many expressed their dissatisfaction with online APs.
The graphs below show the general data regarding AP exams at OBHS:
Note: The survey includes data for AP exams only.
AP Seminar, AP Research, AP Art, and AP Computer
Science Principles are not included as there were no
exams for these courses.
Before the official AP exams began on May 11th, College Board offered students the option to opt-out of exams and receive a refund. Only 22.2% of OBHS students said they were aware of this option. 100% of students took their exams.
On May 13th, The College Board revealed on Twitter that “more than 99% of students successfully submitted their AP Exam responses.” However, that still meant that 1% of exam takers were unable to submit their responses. In fact, 16.7% of the students surveyed at OBHS reported experiencing technical difficulties during their exams, and 5.6% of students had to retake an exam in June. For AP World Language exams, in particular, students had to download an app issued by College Board. However, out of the five students who took an AP World Language exam, two stated that the app did not work for them. “I’m disappointed that an app that College Board told me to download had issues,” one student said.
Students and parents in California have filed a class-action lawsuit against College Board for over $500 million, claiming that the company failed to effectively account for technical issues during exams and the needs of students with disabilities. Many OBHS students shared that they did not know about the lawsuit.
Many of the students who were aware of the lawsuit believe that it is justified. According to one student, “College Board inflicted a lot of stress and frustration upon millions of test-takers this past year, with many kids completing the whole test and being unable to click submit.”
However, other students believe that the lawsuit is not justified since College Board did not have significant time to plan. “They were doing the best that they could given the situation,” one student stated.
Overall, OBHS students were not completely satisfied with online AP exams, but the unexpected transition to online learning could have played a factor in some students’ frustrations. For the following survey questions, students were asked to rate their responses from 1, “Strongly Disagree,” to 5, “Strongly Agree.”
Even though 89.0% of students shared that they try to attend all of their class meets, many expressed their struggles with online learning:
When comparing online learning to school pre-pandemic, 88.9% of students expressed their desire to return to the normal classroom setting by the fall, with only 3.3% of students preferring online learning.
The online APs were a unique experience, to say the least, but whether they will reappear next year is uncertain. As of now, the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting some New Yorkers, and the school district is already planning ahead in case schools remain closed in the fall. However, only time will tell, and hopefully students will be walking the halls of OBHS again in September.