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Dear Academic Approach Families and Colleagues:

Advanced Placement (AP) exams continue their rollout in digital form. We continue to learn a lot, especially re: 1) online administration best practices; 2) questions concerning student conduct; and 3) the inexhaustible humor of adolescents, even under quarantine.

Online administration best practices
Students are reporting challenges with iPhone/iPad technology. College Board has provided some useful guidance to address that here and other day-of tips here. And be certain to arrive 30 minutes before scheduled tests. 

Student conduct 
Online search trends around yesterday’s US Government test (300,000 students tested) tell an interesting story of how students are using google searches under the College Board’s provision that “open notes” are allowed. Students posted a number of snapshots showing key content from the test appearing heavily on Google searches. See below for a few examples.

The inexhaustible humor of adolescents, even under quarantine 
After the AP Government test, students took to Twitter to air their feelings and insights creatively, sarcastically, and irreverently. Twitter is their current way to grouse in the hallway after a major test, so we can’t begrudge them that. We’re seeing many students respond on social media apps like Reddit and Discord as well. Students should be careful, though–College Board is carefully monitoring those sites to ensure students aren’t engaging in any cheating or prohibited behaviors. 

Focusing on opportunities
With all these lessons learned, we continue to focus on the opportunities ahead: 1) helping students successfully navigate new protocols for testing; 2) encouraging students to maintain the highest standards of personal responsibility and accountability as they test; and 3) focusing on the value concepts and skills that students can be learning to bring them success both on and beyond the test. 

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

Standford joins Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and others in reinstating ACT/SAT requirements!