On March 20, 2020, College Board – the makers of the Advanced Placement test – announced that the traditional face-to-face May AP test is cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you were planning to take the AP test this year, what does this news mean for you?
MEK Review is here to break-down:
- New AP testing options
- Changes to AP exam content
- Impact on college admissions and credit
- Best ways to prepare
AP Exam Testing Options
First and foremost, you can still take AP exams this year – just not at a testing center.
College Board cancelled May AP exams at the usual testing center locations in order to adhere to the social distancing recommendations of the CDC during the coronavirus crisis.
Instead, students will be able to take the AP test online through a computer, tablet, or even smartphone.
Students who do not have access to these types of devices or the Internet can reach out to College Board directly, and they will find a way to provide.
There will be two online test date options for all AP subjects, and College Board will announce those test dates on April 3, 2020.
Changes to AP Exam Content
Typically, AP Exams are anywhere from two to three hours. Most of the exams also have two sections – a multiple choice section and a free response. The content consists of everything your AP teacher should cover from September to May.
However, this year’s AP exams will have major changes:
- They will only be 45 minutes long
- They will only be free response, no multiple choice
- They will only cover topics and skills that most teachers and students would have covered in the classroom up to March.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what will NOT be on 2020 AP Exams for the most popular AP tests:
|Advanced Placement Exam||Topics NOT on 2020 AP Exam|
|Calculus AB||Unit 8|
|Calculus BC||Unit 9, 10.1, 10.3, 10.4, 10.6, 10.9, 10.10|
|Economics - Macro||Unit 6|
|Economics - Micro||Unit 6|
|English Language & Composition||Units 8-9|
|English Literature & Composition||Units 8-9|
|Physics 1||Units 8-10|
|Physics 2||Units 6-7|
|U.S. History||Units 8-9|
|World History||Units 7-9|
*For complete list click here
If you’re not sure what content each “unit” covers, check out the descriptions of every AP subject unit on the College Board website. You can also speak to your AP or MEK Review teacher.
Impact on College Admissions & Credit
College Board announced that colleges are in full support of the new shortened AP test as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As of right now, the test creators are promising that colleges will accept the shortened 2020 AP test for credit and placement the same as the original, longer test.
According to College Board, “for decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.”
Best Ways to Prepare
Despite the interruption of students’ school schedule, there are still great ways to effectively prepare for AP exams.
- On Wednesday, March 25, College Board will begin offering free, live AP review courses that students can access through their computers and phones. Check out the schedule here.
- MEK Review is offering one-on-one for AP exam test prep online. Our virtual tutoring allows for students to interact and engage with their teacher, share information and lessons quickly, and learn proven strategies for earning a 5. They will also take practice free-response AP exams and receive expert feedback. Tutoring is available for AP Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, Physics, and U.S. History.
While a wrench has definitely been thrown in every students’ academic plan, it’s important to try and stay the course as much as possible.
Students planning to take AP exams this year shouldn’t put it off, especially because the current COVID-19 situation could bring even bigger changes or obstacles later.
Continue to learn and prepare for AP exams and keep on track for college admissions.
Keep safe. Keep healthy. Keep learning.