AP Students: What to Expect for the 2021-2022 Exams


Girl studying in a library. Source: www.freepik.com.

Paula Zhuang, Managing Editor

Things may finally return to normal this year for AP students.

With the past two test administrations marked by unfamiliarity and confusion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a welcome announcement for the juniors and seniors of NPHS.

In spring of 2020, exams were online, open-note, and only 45 minutes long. They caused numerous issues—including calls of unfairness and inconsistency—and some students had to retake them. Additionally, that year was tainted by controversy on College Board’s part: for example, the non-profit organization allegedly pretended to be a student on Reddit to catch people who were intending to cheat.

When 2021 rolled in, the pandemic was still a major threat, with many schools being half or fully online. Thus, College Board decided to provide both digital and paper options, with digital students being able to take the exam either at home or at school. This time, all tests were full-length. However, pencil-and-paper exams were given early in May, and digital exams were offered in multiple administrations with the latest usually in June. Multiple measures were taken to prevent cheating, including the redesign of test questions to make it very difficult to look up answers. Many students found these changes unnecessarily stressful. On the other hand, others appreciated being able to type versus the classic tests.

Coming into the 2021-2022 school year, College Board is returning to its original administration method: paper-and-pencil exams in the first two weeks of May, with only one test date per subject. However, they do state that if the pandemic worsens and many schools convert to an online model in the spring of 2022, they may revert to the strategies they employed in 2021.

As of right now, students can expect to bring a pen or pencil to their AP exams.

For NPHS students, the deadline to register for these tests is Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 2pm. The registration form and payment should be handed to Ms. Bozigian in Room 310 during periods 1, 2, and 3 or in her office, 305B, during periods 4, 5, 6, and 7.