Collegeboard announces new AP Test format for 2020


In light of school dismissals across the nation, Collegeboard releases an update on AP testing for this year.

Sunny Liu, Staff Writer

Due to safety pressure from the COVID-19, or, more commonly known, the coronavirus, the 2019-2020 AP Exams have been pushed to online. In addition to this change, the format of the AP Exams has also changed along with the subjects that will be tested.

To start off, the 2019-2020 AP Exams are now allowed to be taken on any device students have access to. This includes computers, tablets, and phones. Collegeboard also offers the option of writing the responses by hand and then submitting photos. 

Soumya Sahay
Many AP students also choose to take SAT subject tests along with the AP exam to demonstrate their understanding of the topic. The College Board has not released any information, scheduling or content-wise, regarding these tests as of now.

The tests will now be 45-minute free-response exams, contrary to the past tests where multiple-choice was included. In addition, the topics covered by the exams will only include the topics that have been taught in class up to March.

 For example, in AP Biology the units of Evolution and Ecology were taken off the AP Exam. In AP Art classes, students are still required to submit their pieces of art, but less in quantity. While the decrease in tested material seems advantageous, it might offer some s


“I think since they are cutting out the last 2 units it will be a slight detriment to students. Ecology and Evolution are units that students usually comprehend well and now those units will not be on the exam,” said Mrs.Ogle, one of Amador’s AP Biology teachers.

Not only will the material change affect students, but the fact that the test will now be all free-response might also affect students. Some students might feel that they do better on the previous multiple-choice compared to the free-response.

“Personally, I feel it’s harder because in general I do better on the multiple-choice sections on ap tests and don’t do as well on the free-response questions and now that the entire AP exam is free-response the difficulty of getting a 5 has definitely gone up,” says Daniel Yuan (‘21).

Other teachers worry about the accessibility to the test in regions where technology might not be as available.

As AP Human Geography teacher, Ms. Zuanich, said, “ I worry for kids in poorer districts who don’t have [free Chromebooks and wifi], both in terms of the instruction they’ll be given rem

Because students will only be tested on material taught up to March, they are able to begin reviewing for the exam now.

otely and the ability to take a test like the College Board is suggesting.”

There are also worries over the security of the tests. Collegeboard reassures that their online exam will be secure and explains that they use a variety of ways to secure the test including plagiarism detection software. 

In fact, online AP Exam testing is not new to Collegeboard. They have properly received and scored the test of students who remained at home in the past. However, these at-home exams were limited to the AP Computer Science Principles Exams.

This year’s AP Exams dates are to be released April 3rd, but there are still many unanswered questions. These questions will likely be answered as time goes on and more is known.