Are online exams our future?

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have moved progressively through an internet-based era, where many academic classes and resources have been offered online, including the 2020 AP exams. However, the uncertainty regarding the continuation of online exams remains as the number of coronavirus cases winds down, allowing schools to begin opening their campuses.

Will standardized exams slowly move online in a post-COVID world? Although visually it seems unlikely for students to sit at their desks at home and type their essays online due to the lack of internet resources, I personally believe that it is important for exams to move online in the future.

There are a variety of challenges imposed upon students when it comes to taking any form of online assessments. One challenge was the lack of electronic devices. Last year, the AP exams were held online, giving students the option to take the exam on their laptops, phones and other devices. Students who did not have access to laptops were encouraged to take photos of their exams and submit the photos to Collegeboard, proving the obstacles of providing online exams.听

鈥淭here would really have to be a longer discussion and plan for equal access,鈥 Upper School History Teacher Mr. Luke Walker (he/him) said. 鈥淣ot just for kids in rural areas, but in urban areas as well, where the electronic device at home isn’t a laptop.鈥

Another challenge that was discovered during last year鈥檚 AP exams was the time zones as students all across the world took the same exam at the same time. 鈥淚 understand that Collegeboard wanted to ensure the testing security for the exam,鈥 Annie Yang (鈥23, she/her), a student who took the AP World History exam in the middle of the night last year, said. 鈥淏ut I think they could have given us different prompts or documents for the Document Based Question.鈥澨

Even though such challenges allowed education organizations to understand the complexity of online exams, it is still necessary for them to solve these issues and bring exams online. It is essential for our education system to become online-based in order to help upgrade the usage of the internet.听

Online exams are efficient as students do not have to walk into their exam rooms to fill out their information on a sheet of scantrons. Instead, they can just enter their information online prior to the exam, allowing them to jump right into the exam. This would relieve the administration from the burden of ensuring that all students are in the room before beginning the exam.听

Another reason why online exams should be established is that students from all over the world have already dabbled on online based learning due to the pandemic. As students have relied heavily on online classes the past year, they would adapt well with online exams, which would make the process of moving online easier on the students鈥 side.听

Although the chances of having standardized exams online are relatively low at the moment, the possibility of students taking exams on their electronic devices remains as the education system continues to evolve with the influence of technology.听