Photo By Kaitlyn Willard
The CollegeBoard has issued changes to Advanced Placement policies in the 2019-2020 school year. These adjustments were implemented to push more students to sign up for the AP exams in the spring, as a study had shown a rise in scores when registration was held at an earlier time.
AP courses taken during the fall semester have a registration deadline of October 31st rather than the normal deadline in March. The CollegeBoard hopes this will ensure that students will be more determined throughout the class to work hard and prepare for the AP exam. CollegeBoard tested select schools to see how fall registration would affect the exam. As an outcome of registering earlier, there was a rise in participation and a rise in scores.
“We want to make sure students know what is coming on the pike and can start preparing as soon as possible,” assistant principal Jennifer Allen said. “If they have it in their heads that they know they are taking this test, it’s in their mindset throughout the year so they can prepare throughout the year.”
In addition to the deadline change, CollegeBoard now provides an online classroom. Students in AP classes must now enroll in their CollegeBoard classroom in order to register for the exam. Students will no longer have to attend pre-administration as they did in past years.
“CollegeBoard sent out a new set of skills for every single class which for the class I teach it didn’t change anything, but it did specifically list skills that didn’t used to be listed and they have suggested units to teach,” AP Language and Composition teacher Lloyd Hoshaw said. “In AP Lang I really like the changes. The resources are great and I like they way they are now communicating what skills we are supposed to cover so no matter what books I teach or no matter what essays we read, I feel like I can connect it.”
The goal of the CollegeBoard classroom is to provide effective study tools for the exam come May. It can be used as a study tool to help prepare students.
While the changes made to registration and the course itself were minor, students will see a difference in the exam in May. In addition, the fee to drop an exam or take a late exam has raised. Dropping an exam will now cost $40 as opposed to $15 in years prior.
“CollegeBoard wants to tier the fees and wants to handle late fees better,” principal Dr. Greg Tiemann said. “For us, we are one of the unique schools around the country where we pay for the students to take the exam. If every student wants to take an AP test and they fulfil it. I think this will result in more students studying and going to the review sessions like they are supposed to.”
Regardless of whether these changes will affect scores for better or for worse, the main hope is that students will have more methods to learn and study from. In the end, it is about the material the students are learning.
“We want all of our students to try an AP class and learn about it,” Allen said. “The score is important, of course, but mostly it’s about making sure the students get the opportunity to challenge themselves. I hope that these changes with the resources they have will give them more support so they can do even better.”
Despite these changes made to the AP program, major aspects remain the same. According to the CollegeBoard website, AP exams will continue to be held during the first two full weeks of May, the fee to take the exam have not been changed and scores will be released when they were in years prior.