The College Board will allow at-home testing for AP exams in response to COVID-19

By Connie Lin

The College Board is making massive changes to its policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization, which administers the SAT and AP exams, announced two new initiatives Friday: 1) Free live and on-demand online AP courses and 2) an at-home AP testing option.

As schools across the country have closed, the College Board is striving to “give every AP student the opportunity to earn the college credit and placement they’ve been working toward all year,” it said. It plans to stream AP review sessions delivered by teachers nationwide starting March 25, leading up to exam season in May.

More startling is the company’s decision to allow at-home testing. The College Board has long held notoriously strict testing standards; exams typically occur in group settings, under controlled conditions and with proctors. But these are unprecedented times, and social distancing is a matter of public safety.

“Students will be able to test on a computer, tablet, or smartphone,” the company said. They can also submit photos of handwritten responses.

Additionally, the company will offer two test dates for each exam and will tailor the exams to focus on content most schools were able to cover by March.

The College Board said it recognizes that “the digital divide could prevent some low-income and rural students from participating” and has encouraged students who lack mobile tools or connectivity to reach out.

Students who elect not to take their exams can cancel their registrations at no charge.

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