COVID-19 Affects AP and IB Exams

Emma Behrmann, Editor In Chief

As COVID-19 looms over graduating seniors’ final high school moments, the idea of losing prom and Grad Bash is upsetting, yet students are concerned with their last chance to earn college credit through AP and IB exams.

Due to schools closing their doors and turning to online curriculum, or in some districts no more school, the College Board had to evaluate whether or not to offer AP exams. As they canceled the March and May SATs, students began to worry about the ability to take and pass their exams for college credit. In a response to 91% of surveyed students replying that they would like to take their exam, the College Board decided on an alternative: a 45-minute, short response, online exam at home, or possibly at school if re-opened, with the last one to three units of material removed depending on the course.

“I wanted the opportunity to be able to take my AP exams because I want to be able to earn the college credit for courses, so I don’t have to take them in college,” Brison Stevens (‘20) said. “I don’t like taking online tests in general; I feel as if I do better when taking it with pencil and paper, but I will make it work. I feel comfortable at my house, so I may do better than I would at those testing centers, but it’s definitely going to be weird.”

Similar to the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization had to readjust their plans. However, IB is an international organization, therefore, they must consider all of their students from those residing in North America to Europe or Asia. Due to the impact of the pandemic, all IB “examinations as scheduled between 30 April and 22 May for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates will no longer be held,” (International Baccalaureate Organization) leaving the status of the IB diploma in limbo.

“All of us in IB have been preparing for our exams for two years now,” Aaron Jacobs (‘20) said. “Not having the opportunity to take the exams is really unfortunate, as it gives us no opportunity to earn the college credit we all have been working towards.”

According to the IB Organization, “the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes.” However, uncertainties remain for the graduating seniors.

If prom, senior breakfast, and Grad Bash are gone, at least some seniors will still be able to receive college credit before starting classes in the summer or fall. For more information regarding the new format of the AP exams visit https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update, and check in with teachers through Microsoft Teams about exam preparation. For more information and FAQs regarding IB examinations visit https://www.ibo.org/news/news-about-the-ib/may-2020-examinations-will-no-longer-be-held/.