COVID-19 Affects AP Course Scores

The 2021-2022 school year is a transition into a “normal” school year after virtual and in-person modes of learning. Both modes of learning welcomed most of the pros and cons, culminating in higher scores and grades overall in in-person students.

Students were able to transfer from virtual to in-person and vice versa throughout the school year. Senior Kennedy Ruhland learned virtually for the first six weeks and switched to in-person for the remainder of the school year.

“I was not offered the same AP classes as other classes. I felt that I wasn’t getting prepared for my exams and just getting easy grades,” Ruhland said.

The previous school year witnessed extreme failure rates in students in both modes of learning. To combat this problem, a grade redemption program to allow students to redo courses for a chance to earn a 75. Seniors and juniors mainly took advantage of the program while few freshmen and sophomores did.

Differences between the modes of learning allowed for many discrepancies in grades and content understanding. Because of the online learning environment, cheating became a major issue. 

“I felt that it was very unfair because I know a lot of online students who were given 100s in their classes for doing next to nothing. I felt like that kinda sucked because they weren’t learning much,” Ruhland said. “I know a lot of online students said they didn’t feel prepared for their exams, but they had a 100 in their class. I felt like that was kind of unfair because some students were getting a boost to their GPA and some students passed people in rank because of that.”

The AP exams also included paper and digital testing. The tests varied in difficulty and content in order to prevent cheating and to accommodate the virtual testing environment. According to College Board, there was a 6.8% drop in test-takers from previous years.

“I think the preparation was seriously flawed in terms of online classes. I feel like it was a lot harder for online students to get prepared for exams,” Ruhland said. “In person, I felt somewhat normal. I think in comparison, I am sure the in-person tests were a lot easier than the online tests just in terms of what people told me about how they felt about their exam. I felt like the preparation in person felt pretty normal. I mean the whole year was pretty hectic.”

Academic Assistant Principal Ketura Madison hopes the new school year will welcome higher grades as well as improved work ethic among students.

“​I would like to see students more engaged with their education. I would like to see students solve authentic and meaningful issues that we are facing today.”

— Academic Associate Principal Ketura Madison

 

“​I would like to see students more engaged with their education. I would like to see students solve authentic and meaningful issues that we are facing today. I would like to see students be able to transfer skills and apply them to real-world situations,” Ms. Madison said. “I want students to be resilient and have a growth mindset to achieve the goals they have set. Students can do these things by utilizing good time management, setting aside study time, participating in class and other school activities, and taking time to take care of themselves and their mental health.”