ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Difficulties of proctoring AP exams

Now that AP exams are over, we have time to reflect on the past weeks. Students have said the exams varied in difficulty, but everyone agreed that they were boring and too long to take. But that is all coming from the students. How do you think the proctors feel having to watch you take the exam that could last up to five hours?

The proctors have to come set up usually an hour before the students get to the classroom. This involves making sure all the test material is in their custody, laying all the AP Student Packs are on the desks in order for students to find their seats, and other behind the scenes work. Once students are allowed to walk into the room, proctors have the job of checking them in and making sure they are who they say they are. Once the test material is handed out, the proctors read the directions and then allow the students to start the test. Then, they get to wait until that section of the test is over. And to make it even better, the proctors get to do nothing but watch you take the test for up to five hours. Teachers “understand that [they] are providing a service for the students,” but most “don’t enjoy the process,” math teacher Christopher Tucker said.

During the exam, the proctors walk around in case anyone needs anything or has a question, but, more importantly, their job is to make sure no one is cheating on the exam. Yes, it is hard for students to cheat on the AP exam considering there are dividers up between each student, but people find their ways. The proctors keep a close look on everyone: making sure there are no wandering eyes or moving of dividers or, which seems obvious, talking of any kind. If a proctor does catch cheating of any kind, they are supposed to remove the student(s) and terminate their exam(s). They then send the student(s) to any administrator in the building, who will most likely send the student(s) home, and then notify College Board. Also teachers “have mixed feelings [about proctoring]” because “it’s just boring,” Tucker said.

I know that the time spent studying for the AP exam is draining and stressful, but at least you can put all your skills to the test during the actual test, rather than standing and watching someone else take a test. At least you can write things down and answer questions, or even fall asleep if you chose. Proctors cannot even shut their eyes for a minute or else they could allow students to get away with cheating. Students understand that while the “studying process sucks” it is “far worse for proctors to be sitting there and doing nothing,” junior Lindsay Ross said.

Rachel Berman

Features Editor

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