SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Ambitious high school students across Utah are taking Advanced Placement tests this week, even though they haven’t been in the classroom for months.
AP classes and test count towards college credits; they’ve always been stressful but COVID-19 has taken that to a whole new level.
Anna Gurgel is a sophomore in the SLC School District. She’s studying for two tests, “I think I’m prepared. I’ve done as much studying as I can but you never know, especially now because it’s so unpredictable.”
Elayna Saley is also a sophomore in the SLC district, she’s studying for a World History exam, “That helps, knowing everyone is going though it at the same time with me.”
Both girls say studying alone has been really challenging.
Saley said, “Sometimes my friends and I will Facetime to answer any questions that we have.”
Gurgel explained, “It is hard not to have the motivation of peers to push you to do more.”
Students will take the AP test from home this year; each test is shorter and will be an open-response format meaning no multiple choice. Foreign language classes will test only verbally.
Saley said, “I think I would have felt more comfortable with multiple choice but that would have been easier to cheat on, especially since everyone is at home.”
A major challenge this year is making sure each student has a device to take the test on.
Shannon Wilson is the AP coordinator for the SLC district.
She said teachers have done everything they can to reach out to students and encourage them, but there’s just no replacement for the support they can feel in person.
“I think we underestimate how challenging it is to sit at home alone while your parents go to work or to be in the house with younger siblings, and everybody’s supposed to be on these machines that you may not have or have to share,” said Wilson.
If your child needs a computer to take the test, please reach out to your school.
Wilson said, “It’s worth the kids while to do it; they will still get those credit hours and be able to skip pre-recs.”
We have received reports of technical issues during these first couple of days of testing; if that happens to your students they will be required to take a make-up test in June. If your student decides not to take the test, they can get a full refund.
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