COVID-19 impact on AP exams

Ben Laham, Staff Writer

This school  year has been extremely unorthodox, especially for those who are AP students. The AP curriculum has always been at a higher level of difficulty than CP and Honors classes, requiring larger amounts of work, all in preparation for a nation-wide exam in May. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily disrupted the flow of this nationwide educational program since March 2020, when it was finalized that the remainder of the school year would be online and the AP exams shortened drastically. 

This year, AP students have had extremely high amounts of struggle in their preparation for the exams; the AP program is extremely fast-paced, difficult and engaging that lasts from the first day of the school year up until the exam. It requires an intense amount of focus and motivation in order to succeed, which can only be nurtured in an environment where students can have close interactions with their teachers. However, the majority of this school year has been carried out remotely with the school day being shortened drastically for a large part of the year, along with starting late. All of these factors contributed to an environment which has made it much more difficult for AP students to prosper in their studies.    

Every single AP class has been affected in some sort of way, from calculus to the arts. “It has become tradition for students to create an original composition as a final project following the exam, but this year work on that project will begin before the exam…” Ms. Kimberly Russell, AP Music Theory teacher at DHS stated. Having personally taken her class in the past, I completely understand the importance of that particular project, as it requires skills acquired over the course of the entire year and is typically completed in the final weeks of the year. Starting it that much earlier puts the students at a severe disadvantage, preventing them from producing the best work possible. 

While this entire year has been extremely different for all students, the AP process is at least looking up at least a little bit from last year, where everything had to be rushed at the last second and the exams were drastically altered. At least this year there was adequate time to adjust to the circumstances, however difficult they may have been. Overall, it has only helped AP students to develop new and different types of time management skills.