College Board Plans to Host 2021 AP Tests In-Person


College Board AP Logo

With less extensive lockdown requirements around the country, College Board plans to return to in-school testing for the upcoming Advanced Placement exams in May of 2021.

Since last year’s exams, businesses and schools across the country have gradually begun to reopen, and College Board’s plans are no different. College Board has announced their plan to support in-school testing for the upcoming exams, while offering full refunds to any student who decides they do not feel comfortable testing in-person. This comes after the organization faced criticism and lawsuits for their modified AP exams in 2020.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in America only a few months out from the dates of AP exams, College Board was left with little choice but to take the exams completely online in 2020. With little time to plan and organize these exams, College Board received many complaints from parents and students, who felt the exams were unfair to students with learning disabilities, no access to the internet, and/or no quiet place to take the exam in their home.

A 500 million dollar lawsuit was launched against College Board for a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, though Peter Schwartz, general counsel for the College Board, dismissed the lawsuit as “baseless.”

With an opportunity to revert to hosting in-person exams, it is understandable that College Board would be onboard with leaving the idea of online exams behind. However, not all are onboard with taking in-person exams, as daily COVID-19 cases have reached an all-time high and have continued to rise over the past days. College Board has accounted for this in a statement released on their website, which states, “So that students feel comfortable registering by the fall deadline, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams.”

Josh Belew, a senior at Cam High, said, “I’m glad that the tests will be in person this year. It’s a lot easier to focus in school with other students rather than at home.”

Many students would like to be able to take the exams in an appropriate testing environment, but are still cautious about the circumstances. “I’m hoping the tests stay in-person, but only if it is done safely,” said Soloman Anderson, a senior at Cam High. “[COVID-19] Cases are still rising.”

With the announcement of a prospective vaccine and climbing COVID-19 cases, it is impossible to project the pandemic circumstances a year from now, but as of today, it is planned for students to be back in classrooms for their AP tests.