NPHS changes plans for AP and IB exams

CVUSD confirmed on Feb. 19 that the majority of AP tests will be online this year, with a few happening in-person. The normal test date has been pushed back to late May for digital tests, and there will also be an alternative date in June for people retaking exams that had technical issues on the original exam date. NPHS also made the official decision on March 1 that there will be no IB written exams this year.

Kristina Keener, the assistant principal of instruction, was involved in communicating information about AP exams to the student body. This year, the exam dates are flexible, meaning schools could choose between digital or in-person exams, aside from a few exceptions. “Some exams are only offered in person, paper pencil, so that would be your world language exams and music theory. If students want to take those exams, they have to because of the content and the nature of the test, they have to come onto campus,” Keener said. In an effort to prevent cheating with the majority of these tests being online, some content has been modified as well.

The cancellation of in-person IB exams for NPHS students was due to the lack of comfort students reported and the potential inaccuracy of scores with digital exams. Deborah Dogancay, the IB coordinator, reports that IB made the decision that schools must verify that they can test 100% of their registered students in-person. “We surveyed our remote students and found that nearly 75% did not feel safe,” Dogancay said. Instead of the actual exam, the school will take a different route in assessing students and awarding an official score. “[Teachers] have a time-tested assessment coursework that is submitted online for examiners to score in order to determine IB marks this year,” Dogancay said.

Dogancay clarifies that there are a few exceptions to this rule. “There are no changes at all to the IB exams for IB Dance, IB Visual Arts, IB Theatre or the IB Core components as these subjects already had assessment procedures in place that did not involve sitting for a May exam,” Dogancay said.

Danielle Ellis, AP Psychology teacher, believes participation plays a significant role in being successful on AP exams. “I think that students who have paid attention and participated during our class Zoom sessions and used their extension time wisely will do great on their exams this year. On the other hand, students who have checked out and done very little due to the lack of accountability and consequences this year will probably struggle,” Ellis said.

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