Students will be testing in an attempt to get college credits through the AP system this spring. 56% of ELHS students participate in AP exams. (Photo by Edith Pendell)
Students will be testing in an attempt to get college credits through the AP system this spring. 56% of ELHS students participate in AP exams.

Photo by Edith Pendell

After an Uncertain Year, Students Can Take AP Exams In-Person or Online

April 27, 2021

This Year's AP Tests. Paper and Pencil In-Person Tests: US Gov and Politics, Physics C: Mechanics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, English Lit, Physics 1, US History, Computer Science A, Chemistry, European History, Art Portfolio Handouts, Physics 2, French Language and Culture, World History: Modern, Macroeconomics, Spanish Language and Culture, Psychology, English Lang, Microeconomics, Biology, Environmental Science, Computer Science, Comp Gov and Politics, Statistics. Virtual Tests:English Lit, Computer Science A, European History, US History, US Gov and Politics, Psychology, World History: Modern, Art & Design and Computer Science Principles Digital Portfolios Due, English Lang, Computer Science Principles, Biology, Environmental Science, Comparative Gov and Politics, Microeconomics, Calc AB, Calc BC, Physics 1, Chemistry, Physics 2, Statistics.

Both an in-person and at-home online AP test format, both encompassing the entire curriculum, are being offered to all students taking an AP class by the College Board. All students signed up will be automatically registered for in-person exams, but had to opt-in to online exams by filling out a form by April 23. The tests will be held in-person the weeks of May 3-7 and May 10-14, and on May 17. They will be held online May 18-20, 26-28, and Jun 9 and 10. Digital Art/Design and Computer Science Principles portfolios are due May 20. 

View the whole schedule HERE.

With COVID-19 cases in Michigan during March and April, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and standardised testing postponed for two weeks following Spring Break, it was originally unclear whether ELHS would hold in-person AP exams. 

According to the CollegeBoard, most digital AP exams will have both multiple choice and long-answer questions, just like a paper-and-pencil exam, and will cover the same topics. 

Both the opt-in form and AP exam fee were due April 23, and could be dropped off at the ELHS main office. 

According to an April 18 poll on the Ceniad Yearbook instagram, 81% of AP students are taking exams  in-person, while 19% are taking them online. 

All year, AP students had had less in-class time, meeting only two-three times per week, mostly though online formats like Zoom and Google Meet. 

Mckenzi Mcgill (11) is taking AP French and AP Environmental Science. 

McKenzi Mcgill (11), who is taking AP French and AP Environmental Science. (Photo Courtesy of McKenzi Mcgill)

“French has been more difficult,” Mcgill said. “It’s easier to learn when my classmates are speaking around me, and I am not at home by myself”

She is taking both exams online. She says she has “gotten used to” taking tests online.

“I think they should go fine” Mcgill said. 

Peter Ahlin (9), on the other hand, returned to in-person at the earliest time he could. He is taking AP Physics 2 and AP US History.

Peter Ahlin and his AP Study Materials- A Chromebook and a Notepad
Peter Ahlin (9) and his AP Study Materials. He is taking AP Physics 2 and AP US History. (Photo Courtesy of Peter Ahlin)

“I think I’m learning less [this year], ” Ahlin said. “Because there isn’t enough time to reinforce the content as much or cover any side topics.”

He is taking his AP tests in-person.

“I think it will be easier to focus in school where it’s quiet and I feel relaxed [but]

I think everyone will do worse on the tests than they would in a normal year,” Ahlin said.

Ahlin’s Physics teacher, Matt Russell, does not share Ahlin’s doubts.  

Teaching online, he uses PhET (Physics Education Technology) digital simulations as an alternative to traditionally hands-on demonstrations or student labs.  

“It has been difficult to do labs this year since we are not in the school,” Russell said. “This helps students get a visual of what is happening that would normally be easier to do in person.”

His outlook is positive on the upcoming test. 

“My students and I have worked very hard together through this year and have prepared as well as we can.” Russell said. “The group of students in my class are also very hard workers…I believe when it comes to the test date they will be ready.”

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Photo of Edith Pendell
Edith Pendell, Multimedia Editor

Edith Pendell is a member of the Class of 2023 and is the Social Media Editor for Portrait. This is her second year on staff as a junior. Edith’s favorite...

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