Students will take shortened Advanced Placement tests online, and their SAT and ACT tests at a later date as standardized testing agencies announce a multitude of changes in response to the COVID-19 situation.

CollegeBoard announced Friday that AP testing — originally scheduled to take place in May — will now occur online. These 45 minute free-response exams will take the place of traditional AP tests and will provide students the flexibility of choosing between two testing dates.

“Students remain eager to take AP exams and to have a chance to earn credit and placement,” CollegeBoard stated in an update on March 20. “We surveyed 18,000 AP students and 91% indicated they want to complete this important step, urging us not to cancel this opportunity they have been working toward.”

“I think it was the best thing they could’ve done, since it’s unrealistic to expect us to take in person AP tests anytime soon.”

— Emma Cudahy, junior

Some Palo Alto High School students say that they appreciate the steps to maintain safety and the flexibility of the organization.

“I think it was the best thing they could’ve done, since it’s unrealistic to expect us to take in person AP tests anytime soon,” junior Emma Cudahy said. “I’m glad that they didn’t just postpone it, because it would’ve been hard to take a test for a class we had already finished.”

Other students voiced concerns about test security.

“I’m a bit concerned about how the tests will be implemented,” junior Charlize Nguyen said. “I feel like it will be hard to enforce academic honesty, and I don’t want the tests to be invalidated if people do end up cheating.”

While specifics regarding how and when the tests will be administered have not been released, CollegeBoard has highlighted online test security as a priority.

“The exam questions are designed and administered in ways that prevent cheating,” CollegeBoard stated in the update. “We use a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams.”

Additional AP testing details will be released on the CollegeBoard site on April 3.

The May SAT testing date, which includes the rescheduled tests from the postponed March date, has also been canceled. The June SAT has not been canceled, but CollegeBoard states that they are monitoring the situation.

“I want the CollegeBoard to either release a lot of new test dates to accommodate for everyone, let people take an online version or somehow make it not a requirement for college applications,” Cudahy said.

ACT has also canceled the April test date and rescheduled it to June.

On Friday, President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Education Department will waive federal state testing requirements for K-12 students due to the unprecedented school shutdowns. This means that California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress testing will not take place this year for Palo Alto Unified School District students.


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