On May 11, 2020, hundreds of thousands of advanced placement students went online to take a 45 minute test that replaced the typical hours-long in-person tests. These new tests were the College Board’s solution to school closures due to coronavirus, but what was supposed to be a hassle and stress free exam proved difficult and frustrating for many students.
The College Board reported that less than 1 percent of students were unable to submit their exams. If their numbers are correct, that means that at least 21,860 students had troubles with their tests. Those who received error messages were told they would have to retake the test in June, even if they had done all the work.
The College Board is not only facing backlash for the faulty submissions. Critics are also saying that online and at-home testing is unfair for students who don’t have access to a computer or internet, and that the home environment is not particularly conducive for high scores and good work.
Students across the country are angry. There have been tweets and videos of students frantically clicking the submit button only to have time run out and be told they have to retake. It also seems as though the College Board is trying to catch students in cheating, as many on Reddit have said there is a fake account dedicated to reporting any student that interacts with it to get answers to test prompts. While some have called this child entrapment, nothing has really been done to confirm or deny a fake account and intent to catch cheating students.
As high school students enter the second week of exams, the worry about submissions is very real. While the College Board has implemented a back-up email submission system, the thousands of students who have already been told to retest can’t benefit. Hopefully, these problems are a one time thing, since in-person testing will resume for next year.