College Board AP Exams: worth it or not?

Dorela Ramadani, staff writer

The past couple of weeks, the College Board has been the topic of much controversy surrounding a class

action lawsuit for difficulty submitting work and their exam security.

The online tests for College Board give students 45 minutes to take the test, with a timer in the

corner of the screen to let them know when to submit. When some students attempted to submit

their answers, they ran into technical issues and could not submit their answers to the test.

The College Board website was updated and instructed those who were taking AP tests between

May 18 to the 22 to email their responses to the different email addresses that show up on a page

that says “ We did not receive your response.” For the students that took the test May 11-15

where the option to email responses for technical difficulties was not a backup and could not

submit their responses, the College Board website states that “To protect the security and validity

of exams, we are unable to accept submissions from students who tested May 11-15. However

these students can feel confident that the email option will be in place for them during the

makeup exams.”

The lawsuit states that College Board grades these responses instead of making students retake

the test and pay over 500 million dollars. The lawsuit claims against the College Board are

misrepresentation and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, breach of contract, and

gross negligence.

The AP exams allowed for open notes for students. Under the AP Coronavirus Updates for the

exam security section on the College Board website, there is information on tools used to tell if a

student has plagiarized their answers. The website says, “We will be monitoring social media

and discussion sites to detect and disrupt cheating. We may post content designed to confuse and

deter those who attempt to cheat.”

Students across the nation spent seven months preparing to take traditional AP exams. “This year’s AP exams, however, are 45 minutes long with one to two free-response questions constituting 100% of scores,” as stated in a Baron News article.

“These exams tested a fraction of the AP curriculum, which was also cut short due to school closures. How, then, can this year’s AP scores possibly be an accurate reflection of students’ mastery of college-level material? The scores are invalid; students’ grades in their AP courses would do a far better job of assessing their knowledge and academic performance,” said  Kayla Hoang in her online article addressing the controversy.

The lawsuit brings up valid points about the money being spent on these exams, the issue surrounding cheating on said exams, and how much weight these exams should hold moving forward when it comes to college acceptance and course credit.