College Board advice for 3.4 million high school students taking AP tests next week

From the College Board today:

 As AP exams are set to begin on Monday, we are sharing some information that is of critical importance to the 3.4 million students registered to take the exams, who are showing great resilience and dedication to their education during these challenging times. We think students would benefit from this list of the top 5 things they can do to prepare before the Exams, and other information below. 

The Top 5 Things Students Should Do to Get Ready for AP Exams 

Right Now: Try the AP Exam demo and practice submitting an exam response.

Right Now: Complete the AP Exam Day checklist and keep it on-hand during each exam.

Right Now: Confirm their email address and make updates by Thursday, May 7, 5:30 p.m. ET.

Two Days Before Each Exam: Locate their Unique E-ticket, which they’ll need to access their exam. 

Exam Day: Check in 30 minutes early to enter their AP ID, name, and other information before the exam begins. 

Bonus Item:

*Watch live and on-demand AP classes! The College Board launched AP Master Class, where luminaries from different industries and disciplines have joined AP teachers to lead AP courses. On Thursday, May 7, Melinda Gates will share some words of support for AP Computer Science students. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janet Yellin, Tony Hale, Valerie Jarrett, John Quiñones, and more have already hosted AP Master Classes. 

Additionally, the College Board launched teacher-led AP online classes and review sessions to help students continue learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We have collaborated with 65 AP teachers from across the country to offer students access to all-day learning. 

Since launch, more than 730 AP classes and review sessions, organized into 38 playlists -- one for each of the AP courses – have been shared. These online AP classes have been viewed more than 17.8 million times, and we’re delighted to see about 30,000 viewers tune into the live sessions each day with 198k subscribers. 

Additional Background

During this challenging time, our first priority is to keep families and students safe. Our second priority is to make Advanced Placement Exams as widely available as possible for students who wish to test, regardless of the economic or public health circumstances. 
We surveyed thousands of students from all over the country, and the overwhelming majority asked us not to cancel their AP opportunities. We want to give every student the chance to earn the college credit they’ve worked toward throughout the year. That’s why we quickly set up a process that’s simple, secure, and accessible. AP exams will be online this year. If students have already registered to take an exam, they don’t have to do anything else in order to test. 

We’ll simply email them a personalized e-ticket two days before each of their exams. This year’s exams are also shorter — 45 minutes rather than 3 hours — and will only focus on what most students already covered in class, before schools closed. All students who do college-level work will get 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s. 

Students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. While almost all AP students have smartphone access, we want to ensure that no digital divide prevents a student from earning the college credit they deserve. 

So, we re-assigned 100 of our staff to serve as a dedicated student outreach team, and to date they have responded to more than 10,000 students, partnering with Donors Choose and Amazon, and connecting them to local efforts already in place through their school district. 

Colleges and universities are continuing to award college credit as they have in the past. An independent website, prompt.com, has assembled information from colleges and universities nationwide and hasn’t found a single one that has restricted or reduced AP credit this year: 

AP Exams will run from May 11-22. Makeup exams will take place June 1-5. 

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About the Author

Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.
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