Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:
Makeup AP testing will begin next week, and with substantial backlash following the initial round of testing, we’re watching eagerly to see how things go. This will be students’ last shot at AP testing for this school year–so any technical issues won’t have the “makeup test” release valve that College Board relied on heavily in the first round for any students with issues.
Round One Lessons
College Board released detailed information on student engagement with the initial round of AP testing, including the number of students who began the exam, students who failed to complete the exam, and error rates for each test. Some have challenged this data already, wondering how College Board is distinguishing an “incomplete” from a true error, given the number of upload errors students reported on social media. Students were required to submit an application for a makeup exam by May 24 and will be notified by the end of this week if they qualified. College Board, meanwhile, is reporting this as a victory, claiming that more students attempted testing this year than is typical. More than 4.6 million students attempted an AP exam over ten days of testing: 93% of AP students. In typical years, College Board states that only around 91% of students complete exams.
Class Action Suit
Some students unable to submit, however, were not satisfied with the response. These students (joined by the FairTest organization) filed a lawsuit seeking both to force the College Board to score their exams and to provide “compensatory damages in an amount that exceeds $500 million” to “punish defendants” and “deter them from engaging in wrongful conduct in the future.” The lawsuit claims that the unvalidated and untested exams were a means to maintain a revenue stream. College Board contends that their quick adjustment to provide the tests at home provided the opportunity to access college credit to millions of students–and that these students still have the opportunity to take a makeup test. It remains to be seen how these students in the suit will participate in makeup testing in the coming weeks.
Timeline and Results
Another major shift with online testing is a new feature allowing AP teachers in high schools to view their students’ responses. Those are available to teachers beginning today (with makeup responses available on June 30th). Teachers can use these responses in grading for student courses. Scores will be available to students starting on July 15th.
Again, lessons learned and new developments for a present and future of testing that must involve increasing digital options for college entrance exams.
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO