Examinees given options for 2021 AP Exams

Exams can be taken at home or in-person this year to accommodate for underlying health concerns


Due to coronavirus precautions, CollegeBoard is giving students the choice of taking the exam in digital or paper format at home or school. Individual testing schedules depend on three exam dates for each subject between early May and mid-June. “The biggest pro [to taking the test at home] is probably being safe from any exposure to COVID-19,” sophomore Yusra Shafique said. “You might also feel more relaxed and at ease since you’re in a comfortable, familiar environment rather than being stressed by going to school and sitting in a classroom with other students.” Photo Credit: Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu

Hanae Furugaki

As the school year nears the end, students are preparing to take the annual CollegeBoard AP exams. Due to COVID-19, students can choose to take their exams at home digitally alternately to the traditional in-person paper format at school.

“I chose to do it online [because] I thought that it would give me more time to review, therefore giving me the chance to do better on the test,” sophomore Yusra Shafique said. “I also get a couple of extra days to study since school ends two days prior. That way, I don’t have to worry about assignments that need turning in or other subjects I need to study for since the quarter would be over by then.” 

Starting in April, students and teachers can access the exam application and a digital exam practice resource that enables students to confirm their technology’s viability within three days prior to the test date.

“There’s always a huge possibility of something going wrong when it’s online,” Shafique said. “Whether it be your computer restarting at an inconsiderate time or your Wi-Fi cutting out and you not being able to submit your test, there’s a lot that could go wrong with online testing. You might also not be able to concentrate as well, since there are other people in the house causing a racket and being distracting.”

Considering the numerous technical preparations and necessities that come with digital exams, there are benefits to in-school testing, such as the absence of Internet connectivity issues and the ability to go back-and-forth between questions which is unavailable to online test-takers. 

“Taking the exam in-person will give students the best opportunity for success,” AP English Language & Composition teacher Robert Davis said. “We’ve all experienced technology issues this year, so the opportunity to avoid technology problems and take the exam before finals is without a doubt the best option.”

For individual test dates and locations, a Google Form survey that cannot be changed once submitted was sent to students to select their desired option. Administration 1 will be taking place in-school between May 3 – 17. Administration 2 and Administration 3 will be taking place in-school and at-home from May 18 – June 11. There is not a limited number of spots; any student wishing to take the exam paper-and-pencil at SWCTA will be accommodated. 

“I chose to take my exam at school on May 4 because my teacher said she was no longer going to teach the material after that date,” sophomore Anika Aller said. “She advised that if we were going to take it at a later date, we would have to keep ourselves disciplined and study. I knew I did not have it in me to self-study, so I decided to take my exam as early as possible and get it out of the way.”