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3 AP exams administered digitally this school year

Rohan Anne / The SPOKE

By Rohan Anne, Webmaster

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga selectively administered Advanced Placement exams digitally. Although the College Board has made digital exams available for eight AP courses, administration opted into online testing for three this year: AP Computer Science Principles, AP United States History and AP World History: Modern. Bluebook, a software program the College Board created as an online testing application, provides practice and official tests for the PSAT, SAT and AP exams.

While Conestoga had the option of digital exams starting last year, it continued administering paper AP exams. Megan Smyth, guidance counselor and AP coordinator, said that the administration decided to switch some classes to digital exams due to students already having Bluebook software downloaded and being familiar with it after using it for the PSATs last November.

“We want to take this process slowly so we run into as little technical difficulties as possible,” Smyth said. “Now that we have already set up the Bluebook software for the PSATs, we feel a little more comfortable offering the digital option for AP exams.”

Students used Bluebook for their digital AP exams on either a school-issued or personal laptop. During the week of April 29, teachers of courses with digital exams used class time to ensure that their students knew how to use Bluebook. Bluebook also provides sample multiple choice and free response questions that students can use for practice within the testing application. Smyth believes this is an advantage of switching to digital software.

“Having one place to both take the test and practice will allow students to organize their studies before the exam,” Smyth said. “Online practice will allow students to both prepare for online exams and study for the content that they will be tested on.”

For some students, taking digital AP exams was a positive experience. Junior Kyle Xu, who took the Computer Science Principles exam on May 15, prefers taking the exam digitally through Bluebook over the paper format.

“It felt a lot like the digital PSAT that we’ve had this year,” Xu said. “Me personally, I do like that it was digital, especially for the written section, because it’s a lot easier to type and (it’s) a lot less strain on your hands.”

Rohan Anne can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Rohan Anne
Rohan Anne, Webmaster
Rohan Anne is a junior and the Webmaster of The Spoke. He has been managing the website for the last two years. He enjoys covering local news that effects the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District and Conestoga High School community, along with local events that are important to the district. Outside of journalism, he enjoys playing ping pong, teaching about artificial intelligence and technology through the AI Club, and building and programming robots in the Conestoga Robotics Club.