covid-19

Students Experience Technical Problems with Online AP Testing

By HEIDI JIN

Staff Writer

During the last two AP testing weeks, more than 10,000 students experienced technical difficulties during the online Advanced Placement exams this year.

Some of the problems were due to slow personal internet connections or outdated browsers, as the College Board has stated, but many were due to faulty communication on the file type allowed for submission. Only PNG and JPG files could be submitted, and not HEIC files, which are the default photo format for iPhones.

“I did not have any technical issues regarding the submit button being unresponsive, but I have seen many instances on social media such as TikTok that have revealed student’s troubles with submitting,” said junior Michelle Schuler. “I am not sure if there is a fair way to compensate those students, but College Board definitely should have invested more money into building better servers.”

The College Board offered the option of submitting answers through email during the second week of testing if students had issues with submitting work through the testing portal.

However, students such as junior Momoe Ando believe that this option came too late for many students.

“I have never liked College Board in the first place, but their response to the overwhelming issue is unacceptable,” said Ando. “They should be really stepping up their game on how to deal with testing.”

In the case of failing to submit responses through both the testing page and email, the College Board allowed test takers to request makeup exams to be taken in June using the Makeup Request Key.

Some students tried to contact the College Board to report technical problems that impaired their testing experiences.

“I emailed College Board the day after the exam and they responded with an automatic email telling me that they will get to me within seven business days,” said junior Xuelin Huang. “I tried calling them too but no one was answering.”

Due to the limited time available for College Board to optimize their new online AP exams, the AP exams this year were less satisfying to some test takers.

However, other students who experienced no technical difficulties, such as sophomore Jasmine Shen, are grateful that students are still afforded the option to take AP exams.

“Overall, the AP exams this year are fine,” said Shen. “I am glad that we could still take the AP exams and receive valid scores.”

The College Board is expected to return to paper and pencil tests next year.

 

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