The College Board is a scam. Many students will tell you something similar, harboring negative feelings about the non-profit. With the SAT, subject tests, or charging money to apply for financial aid, the College Board has infuriated many students around the country and even the world. However, the rage I have over those topics pales in comparison to the fury I have about AP tests.
For the past year, I have been going to school in my dining room and attempting to learn calculus concepts and physics laws through a screen. No matter how hard teachers work to give students a good distance learning experience, it just isn’t as good as learning in a classroom with peers.
That being said, taking a full-length, three-hour test at home, after learning everything on Zoom, is a ridiculous notion and extremely stressful. Last year, after learning almost all the content I needed to know for the test in person, resulted in a shortened 45-minute free response test at home. Although I will have learned all the content necessary for the full-length test this year, I, and many other students haven’t learned it well enough to perform as well as we would’ve since we have been learning online.
Even more upsetting is that students aren’t allowed to go back to check questions they had already answered to prevent cheating: no checking your answers after finishing or fixing mistakes you later realize. Going back and checking answers isn’t a form of cheating, it’s been a testing strategy that I have personally used my whole life.
We’re also expected to have internet that is able to hold up for three hours: a further annoyance and something that actually makes it harder for less fortunate students to be able to take these tests and get college credit. The College Board was even going to require devices to have cameras on while taking the full-length test at home to discourage cheating, only recently taking that requirement away because of the online backlash.
I could quit now and just not take the test, getting a full refund of $93 back for each test. Yet if I don’t take the test, then I would’ve taken an AP class for no reason, and I may have as well taken some other class that I would’ve enjoyed more. There’s something I have to prove by continuing to take the test in June (after I graduate). It gives me a reason for having taken the class as well as getting college credit for taking it.
That’s why I believe the College Board is a scam. Company officials should be working with students so they feel they are capable of doing the necessary workload. They should be listening to the complaints about the tests. They should be much more understanding of the situation students are in, but it seems 2021 is going to be another year of the College Board overly stressing students out.