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AP Exams: I can't remember when I've been this angry Update: not angry anymore!


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Well, yes I can. I've been angry about a lot over the past year. I registered my kids for (and paid for!) AP exams through a local high school back in September. I just this morning got a message from the woman I was in touch with that she just found out about a district policy that non-students can't test this year and needs to refund my money. I am LIVID. My 11th grader is supposed to take 3 exams this year. If we'd known there'd be a problem, he would have done more DE instead. As it is, they can't even do subject tests in place of AP exams anymore. I'm not going quietly; I have an e-mail in to the county saying they need to honor their agreement (and that we're happy to test online if covid concerns are the issue), but I don't feel like it's going to do any good. I have 8 days before the homeschool registration deadline, so I guess I can make begging every school in the state to take them my full time job for the next week. Have I mentioned that I'm SO MAD?!

Update the next day: my husband called and talked to someone at the assessment department, and they are now all set to take the digital exams! They tried to tell him that they don't know yet if they're offering digital exams, but he told them he's a teacher in the same district and has been told to offer his students a choice of online or digital. Anyway, we're all set! The woman I had talked to at the high school called me and was very, very nice and says she's so relieved for us. So happy ending in this case, but the college board REALLY needs to fix this messy process!

 

Edited by kokotg
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42 minutes ago, kokotg said:

Well, yes I can. I've been angry about a lot over the past year. I registered my kids for (and paid for!) AP exams through a local high school back in September. I just this morning got a message from the woman I was in touch with that she just found out about a district policy that non-students can't test this year and needs to refund my money. I am LIVID. My 11th grader is supposed to take 3 exams this year. If we'd known there'd be a problem, he would have done more DE instead. As it is, they can't even do subject tests in place of AP exams anymore. I'm not going quietly; I have an e-mail in to the county saying they need to honor their agreement (and that we're happy to test online if covid concerns are the issue), but I don't feel like it's going to do any good. I have 8 days before the homeschool registration deadline, so I guess I can make begging every school in the state to take them my full time job for the next week. Have I mentioned that I'm SO MAD?!

They can easily give you access for digital exams. Tell her you don’t need to be in person. Just have her switch it to digital. 

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2 minutes ago, Lilaclady said:

Oh  I am so angry on your behalf. Have you contacted Brookwood? They were very agreable to work with but I am not sure about the deadline. Hoping something good happens. 

Thanks! I just went back a little while ago and looked at my e-mail from you in the fall to see which school you had mentioned 🙂 I haven't yet--I'm still hoping I'll get results by taking this to the county level--but I will soon if not!

 

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17 minutes ago, egao_gakari said:

((hugs)) for you. I'm so sorry that's happening.

If they can't do subject tests, can they do CLEP? Just trying to think of alternatives. Anyway, I hope you get it figured out 😞 

thank you 🙂 We may need to do that--I don't think any of the schools my junior is applying to will take them for credit, but it would at least show some evidence that he did the work. I had already e-mailed our state flagship after the announcement about subject tests ending to see if they'd take CLEP tests instead (they have a lot of hoops for homeschoolers to jump through to prove they've done college prep coursework), and they told me no 😞

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5 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

They can easily give you access for digital exams. Tell her you don’t need to be in person. Just have her switch it to digital. 

Yes--I told both my contact at the school and the person I e-mailed at the district that they're happy to take the exams online (my kids would probably prefer that, really). Waiting to hear back. 

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Just now, kokotg said:

Yes--I told both my contact at the school and the person I e-mailed at the district that they're happy to take the exams online (my kids would probably prefer that, really). Waiting to hear back. 

I am holding my fingers crossed for you. 
 

Also check with UC Scout just in case. They are offering digital version of tests, but I am not sure if it’s only for CA kids or not. 

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Just now, Roadrunner said:

I am holding my fingers crossed for you. 
 

Also check with UC Scout just in case. They are offering digital version of tests, but I am not sure if it’s only for CA kids or not. 

Thanks--I'll check it out! I also already have an e-mail into the very friendly private school principal who's taken my kids in the past. He said in the fall that their policy was no non-students in the building and he didn't know what it would be in spring....I'm hoping that either the policy has changed or he'll let them take them online. But I also very stubbornly want the place I've already paid to do what they agreed to do!

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4 minutes ago, kokotg said:

Thanks--I'll check it out! I also already have an e-mail into the very friendly private school principal who's taken my kids in the past. He said in the fall that their policy was no non-students in the building and he didn't know what it would be in spring....I'm hoping that either the policy has changed or he'll let them take them online. But I also very stubbornly want the place I've already paid to do what they agreed to do!

I hear you. I was livid when our public school refused. All the taxes we pay and they couldn’t pull out a chair for my kids. 

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3 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

I hear you. I was livid when our public school refused. All the taxes we pay and they couldn’t pull out a chair for my kids. 

I was prepared to have a hard time this year because of COVID, and I'd have understood if they told me back at the fall that they weren't letting anyone extra this year because of all the uncertainty. But it's just unacceptable to take my money and then suddenly pull the rug out from under me when there's no time to find anywhere else! But, yeah, my husband actually teaches at a school in this district, and they won't let my kids test either (even in non-covid years). It's maddening.

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Oh, that is maddening. After months of searching I just found a school willing to take my son for digital AP exams this year.  FWIW, the magic phrases that finally opened the door seemed to be "digital exams" and "my son does not need any accommodations."   I had to promise that we wouldn't try to switch to paper exams later, even.

I registered for the UC Scout emails a while back; they are offering the digital exams, but only to kids who have taken those particular AP classes through UC Scouts.

 

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2 hours ago, egao_gakari said:

((hugs)) for you. I'm so sorry that's happening.

If they can't do subject tests, can they do CLEP? Just trying to think of alternatives. Anyway, I hope you get it figured out 😞 

Not the OP, but CLEPs aren't currently happening where I live.  I've been calling :-(. 

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My husband just called after getting out of a meeting at his school about AP exams (same county as the one we're signed up in). He confirmed that they are offering exams both in person and online to their students, so there's no reason whatsoever for them not to let my kids test online. 

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😡😡 😡  I've been tagging with the sad face reaction, when I'm really angry on your behalf and agree with everything in you post.

The AP exams were always a shaky bridge for homeschoolers before the pandemic and now, I just feel terrible for everyone.  

And then the other rug swipe was getting rid of the SAT subject test.  Agree agree agree.  This was my go to advice for homeschoolers who want additional confirmation of completing high school level work.  I don't have experience with CLEP, but I'm hoping they are comparable.  Does anyone know?  

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5 minutes ago, daijobu said:

 

And then the other rug swipe was getting rid of the SAT subject test.  Agree agree agree.  This was my go to advice for homeschoolers who want additional confirmation of completing high school level work.  I don't have experience with CLEP, but I'm hoping they are comparable.  Does anyone know?  

I mentioned in another post that I contacted our state flagship about CLEP, and they told me unequivocally that they won't accept CLEP as a substitute for subject tests (they require proof of completion for core subjects); the counselor told me without subject tests our only option (besides DE or something else at an accredited school) was AP exams. 

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1 hour ago, kokotg said:

I mentioned in another post that I contacted our state flagship about CLEP, and they told me unequivocally that they won't accept CLEP as a substitute for subject tests (they require proof of completion for core subjects); the counselor told me without subject tests our only option (besides DE or something else at an accredited school) was AP exams. 

Maybe this will change going forward with all this Covid mess.  My boys got 1 subject test under our belt last year for 9th.  Was planning 2 more, but that is out now.  Was hoping to CLEP American Government this year - not sure about that.  It is more for grade verification that college credit for us..  Doing an AP class next year.  Hopefully it will be easier to schedule and take the AP exams next year.  What a mess.

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If anyone is so inclined, the person in charge is Trevor Packer: TPacker@collegeboard.org

He did reply to an email I sent in the fall, expressing my concern about difficulty of registering for exams as a homeschooler.  

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2 hours ago, daijobu said:

 

And then the other rug swipe was getting rid of the SAT subject test.  Agree agree agree.  This was my go to advice for homeschoolers who want additional confirmation of completing high school level work.  

You and I must be among the very few who feel this way. I see homeschoolers celebrate the lack of SAT exams (and the demise of subject tests) on Facebook and I am always puzzled. 
 

Forget CLEP. They aren’t accepted at UCs. 
 

I really hope digital AP exams are here to stay. Praying access will be better due to that going forward. 

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10 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

You and I must be among the very few who feel this way. I see homeschoolers celebrate the lack of SAT exams (and the demise of subject tests) on Facebook and I am always puzzled. 
 

Forget CLEP. They aren’t accepted at UCs. 
 

I really hope digital AP exams are here to stay. Praying access will be better due to that going forward. 

I certainly have my issues with the college board, but I've very much liked having AP exams (and subject tests. RIP) as an option. I know a lot of people prefer DE these days, and I do, too, for some things. But the subjects I feel competent to teach I want to actually TEACH at home, and AP exams have given us a way to do that and still get my kids ready to apply to selective colleges. ETA: and while there are legitimate criticisms about AP classes "teaching to the test" I've found the kind of skills and knowledge required by the exams to mostly be pretty solid. 

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I haven't yet ventured into the world of APs, but I'm already stressed at the prospect of it. Ugh. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you I'm so sorry you're dealing with this; your situation sounds infuriating. I would be livid. I really hope this gets worked out for you. ❤️

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1 hour ago, kokotg said:

I certainly have my issues with the college board, but I've very much liked having AP exams (and subject tests. RIP) as an option. I know a lot of people prefer DE these days, and I do, too, for some things. But the subjects I feel competent to teach I want to actually TEACH at home, and AP exams have given us a way to do that and still get my kids ready to apply to selective colleges. ETA: and while there are legitimate criticisms about AP classes "teaching to the test" I've found the kind of skills and knowledge required by the exams to mostly be pretty solid. 

I am so sorry for the stress you are going through right now! With the option for digital exams at home, there is NO excuse for their actions, since it doesn't require your student to enter their building at all.

 

I think AP courses have positives and negatives just like any other course does-- and taught well, many of them are pretty solid courses overall. They are an affordable option for homeschoolers, who are often shut out of free DE that some states provide to their public school students, and not every student has easy logistical access to an affordable CC for dual enrollment on their own. CLEP Is a good option, but not all colleges accept CLEP credits, and individual subjects can be hit or miss. Even when SAT Subject tests existed, colleges often didn't give credit for them, so AP's were a better deal overall. 

Have you considered contacting the school board or even your state representative? Sometimes the state rep can make things happen.

 

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2 hours ago, NittanyJen said:

 

Have you considered contacting the school board or even your state representative? Sometimes the state rep can make things happen.

 

The superintendent is next on my list if I don't get a good answer from the woman at the assessment department (which I'm told is where the decision is coming from). I've been e-mailing him all year to complain about COVID stuff on my husband's behalf, so he might not be very receptive....on the other hand, maybe he'll be so glad I'm not e-mailing about COVID stuff this time that he'll want to give me whatever I want 😂.  I'm willing to blather about it to whoever will listen, but time isn't on my side--if I can't get anywhere in the next couple of days I really need to start looking for an alternative before the homeschool registration deadline. 

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1 hour ago, kokotg said:

The superintendent is next on my list if I don't get a good answer from the woman at the assessment department (which I'm told is where the decision is coming from). I've been e-mailing him all year to complain about COVID stuff on my husband's behalf, so he might not be very receptive....on the other hand, maybe he'll be so glad I'm not e-mailing about COVID stuff this time that he'll want to give me whatever I want 😂.  I'm willing to blather about it to whoever will listen, but time isn't on my side--if I can't get anywhere in the next couple of days I really need to start looking for an alternative before the homeschool registration deadline. 

Best wishes. This is so unfair. Hopefully the College Board will soon release better guidance for coordinators in dealing with homeschoolers. 

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1 minute ago, NittanyJen said:

Best wishes. This is so unfair. Hopefully the College Board will soon release better guidance for coordinators in dealing with homeschoolers. 

Do you know if PAH tried to get approved to offer digital exams for its students? It seems that UC Scout and a homeschool charter in CA managed to do just that. Just curious. PAH is a known entity. 

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6 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

You and I must be among the very few who feel this way. I see homeschoolers celebrate the lack of SAT exams (and the demise of subject tests) on Facebook and I am always puzzled. 

Why are they celebrating?? 

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1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:

Apparently tests are evil and since they are gatekeepers to college, now the gates have swung wide open. 

Ha. Hahaha. Hahahahahaha. Ha. 

Sigh. People and their grasp of the world. It always gets me. 

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7 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Ha. Hahaha. Hahahahahaha. Ha. 

Sigh. People and their grasp of the world. It always gets me. 

People are ideological. Anything that serves their worldview. Reality be damned. 

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Whether PAHS tried to do that I do not know. I know that after fall a year ago, before the pandemic was even a thing, and I was unable to get my younger a spot to even take the Calc AB exam anywhere, I started hoping against hope that one day the College Board would find a way to offer digital home exams— talk about being careful what you wish for :/. 

At least this year, the home exams made getting a spot super simple. PAHS had great communication with the College Board very early on, so I was able to commuincate to the school that working with us was likely to be a piece of cake, so this year getting him a testing seat for AP Stats was simple. The school trusted the communication from PAHS and signed him right up.

Who knows what the future may hold? I personally think the option to test from home is a step in the right direction that I hope they decide to keep now that they’ve invested in it.

 

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7 minutes ago, NittanyJen said:

 

Who knows what the future may hold? I personally think the option to test from home is a step in the right direction that I hope they decide to keep now that they’ve invested in it.

 

I am hoping for this as well. I am also hoping they will simplify homeschool signups by eliminating the middleman. 

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  • kokotg changed the title to AP Exams: I can't remember when I've been this angry Update: not angry anymore!

So glad this worked out well. I hope that with the digital exams, more homeschoolers will be given access and people won’t have to travel miles to a center to take the exam. To be honest, I thought something like this might happen and that is what my my dd is just taking DE this year. I had to revamp the classes in August. She also wasn’t happy with her AP comp score last year and just wanted to give it a break. Hopefully things settle better next year as we are planning on doing some AP. 

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Dd's PAH teacher Bonnie Gonzalez sent a long email to her class at the beginning of the year, laying out the different scenarios that might happen come May.  She told families to register at the local school as usual for the test but be prepared for the possibility of at-home digital testing.  A week ago she sent another email with a super detailed explanation, a 100 page pdf from College Board about digital testing and the reminder to check back in with our school to see if they will let homeschoolers test on-site.  Our on-site contact said it was not likely, and she would feel better about ordering the digital exam.  So the decision is made for dd, the two dates are May 20 or June 3rd.  Kuddos and thanks to PAH and Ms. Gonzalez for keeping us in the loop. Here is the pdf: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-digital-testing-guide.pdf?SFMC_cid=EM454893-&rid=47258080

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