APs…Online or In-Person…?

Students and teachers share their opinions about whether the AP exams should be online or in-person this year.

COVID-19 — the pandemic that not only shook the entire world, but also altered many lives in unimaginable ways. In comparison to the large scale problems the world is facing at the moment, the troubles students are going through during these tough times might come across as silly and unimportant. But, what a student is going through is something many would not understand, unless they are a student themselves. 

This especially holds true for high schoolers. Given the uncertainty many are living in right now, having to do online school and take APs and other hard classes can be extremely challenging. Some students might find taking AP classes online easier.

“Feels better than in person,” senior Zoltan Kovacs said. “I think without the distractions of the class I’m actually focusing better than I usually would.” 

While Kovacs preferred online school for the APs,  senior Konstantina Kiousis had an opposing opinion.

“I would say it has a negative impact because I feel like I don’t learn as much and I get easily distracted which in turn impacts my grades,” Kiousis said.

In agreement to Kiousis’s statement, Counselor Jesse Allgeier confirmed that that not as many students are sticking with APs.

“The number seems to have dwindled quite a lot since the onset of the school year,” Allgeier said. “[We] are seeing more students dropping at the semester as well.” 

She shared that last year’s online school and AP scores might have also had an influence on students’ decision this year. 

“I believe that the virtual administration last year may have been a negative experience for some students,” Allgeier said.

In addition to this, the opinions about whether the AP exams should be in person or online also vary. 

“I think they should be online,” Kovacs said. “We still don’t know exactly when enough people will have been vaccinated for it to be safe in public spaces, and that kind of unnecessary worry and distraction should be avoided for the APs.”

While some people agree with Kovacs about wanting to avoid the stress caused by the safety concerns, others beg to differ. 

“I think they would be more efficient in person,” Kiousis said. 

Allgeier expressed her concerns about in-person testing. She stated that no matter what precautions are taken, either way is going to have its challenges.  

“I think either way, there is no way to offer ideal testing conditions,” Allgeier said.“Virtually there were MANY issues and I do not think it is safe to do in-seat testing,” she added, stating her strictly personal opinion. 

On Tuesday, February 23rd, Principal Remo Roncone released an email announcing >….ALL exams, except certain STEM and World Language exams, will be digital and taken at home. Information will be forthcoming regarding the requirements for testing at home.  STEM and World Language AP exams will be administered in-person at THS. 

 In conclusion, given the circumstances the world is living in right now, it is extremely hard for many to determine what the best way to conduct the AP exams this year is. AP exams might not seem like a big deal to most people, but they mean everything to many of the students taking those classes. No one likes their hard work to go in vain, after all.