Lack of uniform communication about AP exams causes confusion among students, keeping students informed allows for smoother exam weeks

Lack of uniform communication about AP exams causes confusion among students, keeping students informed allows for smoother exam weeks

HiLite Staff

Beginning the first week of May, students will come into the school as early as 8 a.m. for AP exams. All exams will be administered in-person, with a few exceptions.

Due to the challenges of COVID-19, the counseling department chose later exam dates for several classes to make up for any lost instruction time. We commend this decision as it allows students to review material and also prepare for any differences in format this year. It also allows for students to cancel their exams later than in previous years without getting penalized.

The counseling department also has taken measures to ensure students know about the exam schedule as well as any changes in format, whether it has been through announcements or second-hand through teachers. However, this information has not been consistent, as some students have received information to a lesser degree and at a later point in time compared to their peers.

Because of this some students are unsure what type of questions to prepare for or what to do on exam day. Virtual students especially have been out of the loop, as they are not in person for teachers to show and tell them in class. This miscommunication may cause confusion on exam day which slows down the process of taking the test.

Further, students had no choice in whether they would take exams in person or virtually. This may cause extra stress for those who must worry about health issues for themselves or their families as they are forced to go into school, especially for virtual students who purposefully chose not to do in-person learning. The lack of choice for exam dates will also force students who miss their exam due to illness or quarantine to have to make it up in June, interrupting any family plans during the summer.

We suggest the counseling department release more uniform information through multiple platforms to ensure all students know what to expect for exam day. This can be done by releasing information through email, Canvas and Naviance, as students will likely see any details released on at least one of these places. A page on the CHS website designated for standardized testing, similar to the page for COVID-19, would also be a place to have all of this information.

This gives students something to refer back to in case they have a question or forgot any particulars. Administration can also assure students worried about taking exams in-person about sanitation and health procedures which will be in place to protect them.

While in-person versus virtual testing as well as exam dates are set in stone at this point, we recommend that in future years the counseling department consult students about exam dates (and physical versus virtual testing if still relevant). Even without potential lost instruction time due to the pandemic, some courses may benefit from the earlier dates while others may benefit from later ones.

We acknowledge that this year has been confusing and frustrating for not only the students but for administration as they continue to adjust plans to accommodate for a variety of complications with how things are “normally” done. However, better communication with students will allow them to do their best to prevent any difficulties when they take AP exams.

We appreciate administration working hard to keep us informed as best as they can, especially as plans are always subject to change. However, by working to uniformly send out information, students and administration can ensure everything runs smoothly throughout the exams.

To see more works by the HiLite, click here. To see the adjusted AP exam schedule, click here.