problem loading

What COVID-19 Means for the College Board

Mabel Ling
Grade 11
The rapid spread of Covid-19 across the globe has forced populations into quarantine and for educators and educatees, this means staying home and resuming learning through remote, online learning. For students, the initial uncertainty in the midst of the pandemic led to speculations on options for SAT and AP exams for post-high school admissions.

This year, the College Board announced the decision to continue providing AP exams online with modifications to the typical exam structure. Despite the objections, support, concerns, and other varying opinions from parents, teachers, and students alike, the initial AP testing ran from May 11th to May 22. This initial testing had some evident technological issues: some students were unable to submit their exam answers, which led to backlash, much of which was spread across various social media platforms, especially the Twitter pages of College Board and Trevor Packer, senior Vice President of the organization.

Among the numerous complaints, the most extreme is probably the $500 million lawsuit against College Board for system errors that claims negligence and violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, among other things. Additionally, this group has demanded that College Board accept their original exam answers rather than them taking the makeup exam later.

Unlike previous years, a second wave of testing ran from June 1st to 5th for those who chose to write the examination late or were unfortunate enough to run into technical or other problems. A final round of testing has been scheduled at the end of June this year for additional submission errors and exam schedule conflicts. Students were also given the option to receive full refunds had they been unable to submit all sections of their exams or chosen not to take the exam without a cancellation fee.

For the most part, nothing works perfectly the first time. College Board definitely has some issues to sort out to improve the exam-taking situation. Regardless, even without the additional stress of the coronavirus looming over everyone's heads, and the various problems encountered with the proposed solution, should College Board consider the continuation of online testing, and what would this mean for future exam takers?