AP Courses, Testing Changes and COVID-19

AP classes are just as important during the pandemic as they were before it.


courtesy of College Board

AP encourages students to prepare and start preparing for the May exams on the AP College Board portal.

Madeline Hammett, Print Co-Editor-In-Chief

Changes seem to be being made left right during COVID-19 times. Changes to school policies, traditions, sports events, and many more things are inevitable. AP classes, however, remain consistent. 

AP classes are Advanced Placement classes that allow for students to receive a GPA boost and college credit, assuming an appropriate score is received on the end of the year test. Scores can be anywhere from one to five, five being the highest and one being the lowest. Credit for the class is generally granted by state schools for students scoring between a three and five, whereas more competitive schools will grant credit for a four or five score on the end of the year test. In 2020, College Board – AP test creators, shortened the majority of tests from several free answer, short response, and document based questions accompanied by a multiple choice segment to just one response – free, short, or document, depending on the specific class. This shortened the entire test time from two to three hours to only 45 minutes, according to College Board

AP courses are still just as important to a competitive student’s high school career amidst COVID-19 as they were prior to it.”

AP students in 2020 were torn between feeling cheated by the system by only having one chance to write a year’s worth of knowledge and feeling lucky that only one essay was necessary, according to Compass Prep. While testing statistics did differ from previous years, the College Board is credited with doing “an impressive job” administering all AP tests online for the first time in AP testing history, according to Compass Prep

The change in the testing system at the end of the AP class does not change the GPA boost, rigorous course and impressive class schedule that colleges like to see. AP courses are still just as important to a competitive student’s high school career amidst COVID-19 as they were prior to it, according to Princeton Review. The majority of colleges remain impressed by the rigorous AP curriculum while keeping in mind testing changes. While altered testing methods may have changed the impact that a low or high AP test score may have on college acceptance or denial, the course itself remains something highly regarded by colleges, according to Princeton Review.

As most things in a COVID-19 world, going through the motions in the only response for now. Looking into the future, COVID-19’s impact on testing in-person and the value of the AP test may begin to be something that colleges begin to speak out on. Until then, students need to continue challenging themselves with the workload and difficult concepts covered in AP classes despite virtual learning and testing changes.

Princeton Review