Students having problems with online AP exams at home may be able to do retakes in June

Teen working on school work from home. Credit: Mayur Kakade/Getty Images

The New York-based College Board will allow some students to retake Advanced Placement exams in June, following issues with kids who had trouble submitting online answers for their at-home AP exams.

The unusual move to allow students to take the rigorous AP exams at home came as the coronavirus pandemic closed public schools in Florida and elsewhere.

“To protect the security and validity of exams, we’re unable to accept submissions from students who tested May 11-15,”  according to the College Board, the nonprofit that administers the slate of AP exams in a variety of subjects.

But, “Beginning Monday, May 18, and continuing through the makeup window, there will be a backup email submission process for browser-based exams,” the College Board said. The organization added:

“This option will only be available for students who were not able to submit using the standard process and they must email their responses immediately following their exam,” the College Board said on its website.

The Florida Phoenix is awaiting a response from a College Board spokesman regarding details about the issues that raised concerns with students. It’s unclear if the problem was a technical glitch with the testing platform that disrupted students submitting responses.

“We share the deep disappointment of students who were unable to submit responses,” the College Board said in an email.

However, the organization said that “after the first few days of testing, our data show the vast majority of students successfully completed their exams, with less than 1 percent unable to submit their responses.”

The COVID-19 pandemic forced students to take online exams in an at-home testing environment. According to the College Board, as of Monday, “AP students have taken 2.58 million exams.”

The College Board offers at least three dozen AP exams ranging from U.S. History to chemistry, macroeconomics and Spanish language and culture.

AP students can use open book or open notes, security issues that some families might be concerned about following the recent college admissions scandal. Here is a previous Florida Phoenix report.

High school students across the country take the AP course as well as the exams. Students need at least a score of 3, 4 and 5 to pass. Students who get passing scores can get college credits, which saves on tuition.

Whether Florida universities will grant college credit given the unusual testing circumstances, is still up in the air for some schools.

Rachel Williams, a spokeswoman for the University of Central Florida, said in an email last month:

“We are currently having discussions at the state level, but no final decisions have been made. We are gathering information to understand the impact this will have so that we can determine a solution that supports students.”

But New College of Florida is planning to give students credits for taking AP exams.

“New College of Florida will continue to follow state policy for granting college credit to incoming first-year students who have completed AP course,” Ann Comer-Woods, spokeswoman at New College, said in an email to the Phoenix.