Testing week is now [mostly] behind us, and things now start to get easier. The hardest classes are now the most relaxed and for students taking multiple AP’s the start of the summer is the second week in May. The teachers who had been planning all year can finally exhale and ease into a brief period where AP exams aren’t a burden before beginning planning next fall.
The school administers over 20 different AP exams at Universities at Shady Grove. Over the years Lynda Hitchcock, Joseph Mamana and other faculty have witnessed first-hand the carelessness and effects of student angst. For the most part students are responsible, arrive punctually and bring the necessary materials. There are always outliers who make the test day harder than it should be, but the administrators deal with them efficiently and with poise despite the AP college board criteria and unpredictable curveballs.
One year, a student collapsed waiting in line for the exam. Chaos followed when it was evident the exam needed to be rescheduled for her, but the staff prevented mayhem from breaking out by assuring the other students in line their test would be delayed only briefly. College Career Information Coordinator Lynda Irons-Hitchcock said, “It was a big scare. We had to delay the test because we had to call the ambulance, and that caused some commotion for that room but it was all fine, and the student rescheduled as well.”
Another completely unpreventable fluke was when a proctor read the directions for the AP Lang exam instead of the AP Lit instructions. The students did not receive the correct amount of time to complete their writing portion. After the test, they reported this to the College Board and after an investigation was done by the faculty, a make-up test was administered by an assistant principal. It went without a hitch and the staff member felt so bad they gave the students Panera gift cards.
AP College Board does their share of excessive rule implementing that puts a burden on the faculty. College Board has specific instructions for how to pack boxes after the exams are over. The faculty in charge of exams at school must separate each section, and turn them in a certain direction inside the box. It’s not easy to pack the boxes in such a specific manner with over 2,000 student taking exams. “It does not affect the student but it takes so much extra time for us at the end,” Hitchcock said.
The staff who works hard to administer exams to the standard and criteria of college board hold a local and nation-wide belief that AP college board runs a profitable business that takes advantage of dedicated high school staff. “I believe College Board has a monopoly on AP testing and they can charge a high price, and the school does all the work to give the exams, and they sit back and collect a great deal of money,” Hitchcock said.
Cheaters also add to the stress and unpredictability of AP testing week. Hitchcock caught a student from the school with terms on the cuff of their sleeve. “I heard someone from another school was accused of cheating because they tried to eat a cookie during the exam,” sophomore Aliza Reinstein said.