No Cameras Required on AP Exams following Social Media Backlash

The College Board guidelines for digital AP exams no longer include a camera requirement following negative reactions from students across social media. Every May, students at Apex High School, and around the world, test their knowledge on the AP courses taken over the year. Due to Covid-19, the College Board made guidelines for how tests should be conducted digitally both at home and school. 

The original guidelines from February 5th included a section requiring computers, “must have a camera” for all digital testing. On February 6th, the TikTok account @marcolearning included this information in a video about ways the College Board plans to prevent cheating on this year’s exams. The TikTok video later went viral gaining over 2.4 million views. Students sounded off in the comments about the camera requirement and quickly spread their frustrations to Twitter and Facebook groups. 

By February 13th, the same account released a video on TikTok showing the requirements on the College Board website no longer included the section requiring students to have cameras. According to the current guidelines found in the AP Exam Administration Planning Guide, the verbiage on camera requirements vanished following a February 10th revision. The College Board has not commented on why the guidelines were updated as of February 25th. 

The frustrations expressed on social media include concerns about privacy with one TikTok user saying, “They’re gonna watch me?” while others had inequity concerns with another user writing “Bro do y’all expect people to buy webcams? Some people can’t afford it.” These reasons, along with others, are believed to be the cause for sudden changes to this year’s testing requirements. 

While it is possible the College Board made these changes to please the students following their outrage, users who expressed concerns are still not satisfied with some writing, “Can TikTok abolish the AP Exams now?” While this is unlikely, the College Board made drastic changes to their SAT tests in January by removing essays and subject tests. With all of these unexpected changes, what was once unlikely may very well be on the table. 

To read all the guidelines, requirements, and updates surrounding the AP Exams, visit https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap-2021/updates.

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