Changes in AP Registration are Due to College Board’s Decisions

Changes+in+AP+Registration+are+Due+to+College+Board%27s+Decisions

Will Peng, Staff Writer

In the 2019-2020 school year, the College Board made several changes to the AP registration process, including an earlier registration and two separate registration websites. In addition, Irvington’s previous decision to exclude AP exams for classes not offered at Irvington was met with opposing petitions.

AP exam registration began on October 2 and ended on Oct. 25. At first, the Biology, Music Theory, Computer Science, and Spanish exams had been cut by the school, but after some consideration by the administration, Irvington made the decision to include them again for this year. During the brief period of exam exclusions, however, problems arose for both students and school administration. 

The issues primarily include testing locations, test availability, and registration. As opposed to early spring like last year, test registration this year has been moved to the fall.

“The College Board… did some pilot schools the year before,” said AP coordinator Linda Kimmel, “and their feeling was that [students from] schools that had an earlier registration… were more committed to it, and they had less people canceling.”

As for the new two-step process, in which students have to register both on the College Board website and on Total Registration, Kimmel states that the reason behind it is because the College Board does not want to accept registration fees; instead, students pay through Total Registration. The College Board, however, is scheduled to collect all fees from schools by June 15.

“When we first moved to Total [Registration] last year I wasn’t a big fan of it,” said Kimmel, “but then […] moving forward, I saw how much it helped, and it really helped to streamline the process.”

Several students have attempted registering for outside schools to make up for the missing AP exams in Irvington. However, both Milpitas High School and James Logan High School, two of the closest testing locations outside of the FUSD, are no longer accepting outside students. 

“They were getting inundated with calls from [Irvington] students, and they were hoping that by letting students know that they weren’t accepting outside students, […] they would stop getting calls,” said Kimmel,

This change in where students can register for AP exams has a direct effect on students who wish to take an exam outside of school. Irvington student Andy Ping is a junior who planned to take both the macro- and microeconomics AP exams.

“Since the exams were cut off, it’s really hard to find a location,” said Ping. “Most of the testing locations either don’t allow Total Registration, or [they’re] places where you have to [be] put on a waitlist, and that takes another three days after when you register for it, and most of the time, you get denied on the waitlist.”

Petitions have appeared in protest of the exam cuts. One is on Change.org, made by Ms. Chandra Mandichetty in the first two weeks of registration. The petition makes three demands: “1. Allow ‘AP Exam Only’ option to cover as many courses as possible and be at [sic] par with other schools within FUSD. 2. Open the AP Exam Only option to grades 10th, 11th and 12th of Irvington High School, without any restrictions. 3. Increase the number of AP classes offered at Irvington High School from FY2020 (Fiscal Year 2020) to be at least [on] par with the number being offered at other high schools within FUSD.” The AP Exam only option is for students who wish to take the exam but are not taking the class.

On Oct. 14, Principal Melsby sent out an email stating that students will now be able to take self-study AP exams. The administration had taken into account the students who had taken classes or studied over the summer for these exams, as well as the suddenness of these cuts when making this decision.

“We always had plans on offering those tests [for the four AP classes unavailable this year] to the students who had signed up. We had students who signed up for those tests anyway, so they were always welcome to take that test,” said Principal Melsby.

AP registration is likely not going to change next year, says Ms. Melsby. About the AP registration deadline, she states, “Going from [spring] all the way up to October, I don’t think there will be anything drastic like that next year.” Ms. Kimmel has yet to see how these changes will affect students. She said, “Whether or not we’ll see students wanting to change their minds [about which exams to take] later, I think it remains to be seen. We’re still too new in the process, so I guess over the next couple of months, we’ll see.”