AP exam focus on timed essays after Covid 19 increases stress of the tests

Photos by Mackenzie Beem

The corona-virus pandemic has caused changes in testing. AP exams have been shortened and put online. I immediately panicked.

March 13 was the first day. I had worked the night before and was beyond happy that I wouldn’t have to attempt to finish my homework during the school day. This happiness was continued through the next couple weeks. Sure, I had optional, not-graded school assignments, but I barely even looked at them and started living every day like it was an anti-social weekend. But, on April 3 I received emails from both of my AP teachers regarding the format of the tests, specifically how it has changed. I nervously went onto the College Board website.

Suddenly this wasn’t just a short break from school. The multiple choice that carried me through my AP classes, in particular the tests, had been removed from both exams. Immediate panic rose; the timed, high-pressure essays are not my strong suit. I had gotten so stressed out about the essay for my AP Government final that I received a 4.5/9. The difference is that now I won’t have 70 multiple choice questions to carry my grade. These essays are now the only thing determining if I get a decent score, and as a result college credit.

While it’s different for each exam, my AP Government test changed from the majority of the test being multiple choice with one short essay to two essays. The weight of the essays had increased exponentially. My teachers are still learning how to use google classroom and how to give us feedback, how will they prepare us for the new AP tests? As I sit in fear of wasting my time and parents' money, I’m staring blankly at the blue light of google classroom.

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