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Changes to Testing with Covid-19

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As Covid-19 continues to imprint itself on the lifestyles of fellow Americans, New York Department of Education and the College Board have started accommodating for lost time. 

Recently, the College Board announced that AP tests would now be administered twice this year for 45 minutes. Although this change brought skepticism and questions about validity and cheating, the College Board reaffirmed colleges and students that at-home tests like these have been done before. 

Many of the tests will take the form of writing prompts such as DBQs and FRQs while for some classes, such as AP Art classes, will still be submitting their portfolios. 

Despite these drastic changes to compensation for Covid-19  some students think this change is essential to not waste the amount of effort they put in all year. For Aaliyah Bullen, a junior at Hills West, the changes come as no surprise. She states, “There’s really nothing else I could have expected to happen. I’m glad I still have the chance to get credit for spending the school year in my AP classes.”

On the flip side, the New York Department of Education declared earlier this April that Regents have been cancelled. Aaliyah Bullen rationalizes this change, saying, “I understand that rescheduling and modifying tests for the Regents would be unrealistic and expensive.” Unlike the multi-million dollar company, the College Board, the Regents has to take into consideration the costs and availability of the test during an unprecedented time like this. 

Despite these changes, many students are concerned with how it will work out for their future. Many colleges have released statements stating ACT/SAT scores are not essential for the upcoming class of 2021, and they’ll be considerate of individual difficulties, but will these changes just widen the disparities between those who are at a disadvantage? 

Particularly for the Regents, these changes bring up questions about how New York state will structure their requirements for graduation. Recently, New York State announced that if a student had a failing grade in a Regents class, they would be required to take summer school to get their diploma. 

However, for some students these changes and accomodations seem insignificant during this time of crisis. Sophia Parada, a junior, explains, “I feel like tests and grades should not be our primary concern at this time. We should be focused on taking care of each other and our own mental and physical wellbeing.”