With all the different versions of AP exams, this year’s exam works out the best


Karolena Zhou

At the time of me writing this perspective, I will have just finished taking my first AP exam as a junior. This year, I will be taking a total of 7 AP exams, which means for the next few weeks, I will be very sleep-deprived, studying for my exams. 

Throughout my high school career, every year, I have taken a different version of the AP exam. In my freshman year, I had one AP exam, which I took traditionally at school with a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. In my sophomore year, due to COVID-19, the AP exams were changed. Instead of taking the exams at school, I took the exams at home digitally. The test also only had one or two questions for each test. This year, in my junior year, with COVID-19 still spreading but not as bad as last year, the AP exams kind of returned back to the traditional versions with only some exams being changed. Most of my exams have returned to normal with a multiple section and a free-response section, but some of my exams have changed such as my AP Seminar exam, which is now going to be taken at home digitally, and my AP U.S. History exam, which now no longer has a long essay question, but more short answer questions and will be taken at school digitally. With all the different versions of AP exams I have taken/going to take, I think I like this year’s version the most. 

I like traditional tests more because it showcases my knowledge and understanding for a topic more than a short test. I can miss more questions without worrying that if I missed one question, I might not receive college credit. However, the one thing that I am happy that the College Board changed from the traditional exams this year is that for the AP exams that require me to write long essays, I will be able to type it instead of writing it as these tests will be digital. I also like how the College Board gave different options; they had many different dates students could take their exam and even had a digital option for all the exams. This is especially helpful for me as some of my teachers decided to push my AP exams to the second date, which gave me more time to study. With all the different versions of the AP exam, I think this year’s version is the best. Honestly, I can’t find anything wrong with the way that the exam is organized. I feel like the College Board was able to accommodate everyone’s needs this year.

To see more of Karolena’s work, click here.

To learn more about AP program, click here.