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Students experiencing glitches submitting AP tests from home

At-home tests are the norm this year because of COVID-19. And that’s led to some issues.

HOUSTON, Texas — Millions of students around the world are taking Advanced Placement tests with hopes of earning college credit.

However, these AP tests are being done at home because of COVID-19, which has led to some issues.

The testing is normally done in a classroom and takes up to three hours. But this at-home version can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on the subject.

Rebecca Vicary has been prepping for her tests all year.

“I felt really confident going into the tests like my biggest fear was maybe forgetting to study something,” Vicary said.

Her first two AP physics tests didn’t go as planned.

“Whenever I did the tests, the questions seemed really easy, like I was really confident in my answers. And then when I went to submit them, I got an error saying there was an issue with your submission, please try again,” Vicary said.

It's an issue Vicary and her mom didn’t see coming.

RELATED: Houston-area school districts announce plans for graduation ceremonies amid COVID-19

“She didn’t do anything wrong and it worked on the demo and it worked in between the two tests when we tried the demo again," Diane Vicary said. "And I just feel like no one is really taking responsibility for their end of the situation.”

Education consultant Ibrahim Firat with Firat Education said thousands of students are experiencing similar issues.

He said, “With the AP physics, AP government and AP calculus tests, server issues or delays, connection drops and broken links from the e-ticket, which allows the students to log onto the tests successfully.”

College Board, which administers the tests, said their servers never came close to crashing and less than 1 percent of the more than 1 million students who have taken the tests so far encountered technical difficulties.

Firat said they’re spinning those numbers and they aren’t taking responsibility for the glitches.

“Unfortunately, College Board has done nothing but to say it’s not us, it’s you, and that shows a lot of incompetence and uncare for the students and the families at this time,” Firat said.

He said it’s those students like Vicary who are stuck having to retake the AP tests again next month..

College Board said given the wide range of devices and browsers students are using, they anticipated a small percentage of students would encounter technical difficulties.

AP tests will continue through May 22.


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