Graphic by Marina Engler ’21
Uncertainty of the future seems to be looming over everyone as the pandemic once again begins to surge. While the future has become impossible to predict, we have time and time again found ways to adapt and implement some normalcy back into our lives. The College Board recently announced that the Advanced Placement (AP) tests, typically held every year in May, will resume as planned. I believe that it is fair to make students pay full price for the AP tests this year, despite uncertainty on how the tests will look.
One new change that the College Board implemented was the manner in which students register for their tests. In years past, each student was asked to register and pay for their tests by a certain date, typically late November. This deadline forced students to make a decision regarding the test very early into the school year and curriculum. However, this year, every student is automatically registered for their tests if they are enrolled in their class on the College Board website. Granted they still have to pay the $100 per test by December, but this allows every student the opportunity to be registered for the test without having to make a concrete decision.
In addition to this new method of registration, the College Board announced that there will no longer be a cancellation fee as long as the exam is cancelled by March 10, 2021. Considering there has been no official statement regarding how the tests will look this year, this allows students to make their own personal decision without any repercussions, something I think justifies the College Board in its ability to charge students full price for the test.
As someone who took the AP tests last year, I was upset with the way the tests were conducted. For example, for my AP English Language test, we had prepared all year to write three different essays, as well as take a multiple choice portion. As the virus made it impossible to hold in-person testing, the test took the form of a singular online essay.
However, this year when students register they are taking into account the possibility of test-taking in a different form than previous years. Many of my AP teachers this year are also constantly reminding us that although the curriculum remains the same, they are not sure exactly what the test will look like in May.
Regardless of the decision each student makes, the incentive to earn college credit, as well as have a desirable result signifying the hard work put into the class, remains the same throughout.