The AP test. A topic of controversy, centering around the debate of dread balanced by benefit. With Covid season on a continuous rampage, changes within our school system have been cornering staff, students, and teachers alike as the days go on. One big shift affecting most students is the plethora of changes to the upcoming AP exams in May.
Depending on the specific exams students choose to take, new test structures have risen in time. As is true to several subjects, “The test this year has two options, an in-person paper, and pencil test, and a digital version of the test that can be taken at home or at school in a testing location,” said AP World History teacher, Kevin Habroun. The test remains difficult for many and now students have to “know the traditional format of the test first to know the changes,” said Habroun. Distance learning has been a towering task, although sophomore student, Curren Patches, said “I feel like I have more time to study and complete work,” with the extra time at home. But, “this year has been a challenge for AP teachers,” said Habroun, “because we have been forced to focus on big ideas more than all of the content required.”
Forced differences in teaching have affected students and teachers a great deal. For AP World History students, Habroun said, “I’ve had to rely on the students to prepare more on their own, and I don’t like that because I know I’m not preparing them as adequately as I would during a normal year.” With additional pressures, it’s easy for students to fold, but Patchis stays “motivated to study so [he] can get AP credits.” The compacted school year has changed the way students study in AP classes, but Patchis’ “preferred method of studying is looking back on work [he’s] done and reading through the textbook.”
As the test dates come closer, students receive a wave of stress, but Habroun said, “ my best piece of advice for AP test takers is to be confident in yourself and be proud of the accomplishment you’ve already done this year by succeeding in your AP class itself,” of which many teachers would agree with. This year has been incredibly difficult, but our school system has learned to change and supersede the previous expectations, as seen with the AP exams.