Advanced Safety

Tests such as dual credit, AP and the ACT were changed because of COVID-19


Braden Dennis

Juniors Lauren Tiffin and Eshan Jain study for upcoming tests, trying to predict what will be different because of the coronavirus.

Gracie Schwarz, Copy Editor

As the coronavirus rampaged throughout the world, tests that high school students were preparing for last spring were changed or canceled. Everyone dealt with the change differently, meaning the outcome of each test was different for everyone.
Advanced Placement classes became a stressor for those who were enrolled in them. Scott Robinson, the AP coordinator for Nixa High School and counselor, has had a successful history with AP classes at NHS.
“Nixa was overall extremely successful: eighty-five percent of all students who tested received a qualifying score,” Robinson said. “However, some students did not score as high as expected so that was a definite negative impact.”
Last spring, the AP test was significantly shorter and less time consuming than it usually is. In AP World History for example, instead of three sections, there was only a long essay portion. Students still got the credit that they earned.
Some students still had trouble with the test, but these problems came after writing. Junior Emma Beadle took two AP classes last year said it was difficult. “It was stressful because of technology, like relating to the submission of the paper,” Beadle said. “If you didn’t submit it correctly, then the whole thing and all your work goes out the window.”
Students enrolled in dual credit through Missouri State University also had to deal with testing changes due to coronavirus. Dual credit has a required final exam at the end of the second semester, which was made more difficult since the tests had to be taken at home. Joy Horgan, the college counselor at NHS said there were testing changes.
“MSU would normally send a representative to the high school to proctor the College Algebra final,” Horgan said. “The test the past year was given virtually and monitored by the teacher.”
Although the test did change, the overall curriculum did not, since MSU dictates what was taught. Students still earned their credit like in AP classes.
A big testing change occurred with the ACT, which is one of the largest standardized tests that high school students take for college.
“Several test dates were canceled and students had to navigate the website to reschedule at a later time,” Horgan said. “In order to accommodate the canceled tests, ACT has added two new test dates in September and three in October. Some of those are Sunday dates.”
The procedure for how students took the ACT was altered to accommodate the coronavirus. A large majority of the test dates were canceled from March to July, but there were a few centers that went through with testing. Normal testing has started back up again.
“ACT has taken additional measures to ensure staff and student safety,” Horgan said. “Testing centers are required to clean their facilities, students are required to wear masks and social distance while in the testing center, and we are required to put up additional signage reminding students of the CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID.”
Beadle took the ACT recently.
“The testing took place in multiple different rooms, with the desks three feet apart and all facing forward,” Beadle said. “Everyone was masked, and as we waited to get our registration papers we had to be socially distanced.”
It is unforeseen if there will be an online switch or any change in the testing again this year.