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AP Exam Glitches Provide Students with an Added Layer of Stress

By Lauren Azrin

The timer turned red, indicating that there was five minutes left to submit my AP Chemistry exam. After a grueling 45-minute test, I uploaded my photos with two minutes to spare. Preparing to let out a big sigh of relief as I hit the submit button, I stopped in my tracks. The submit button didn’t work. I clicked it a few more times, but the button just wouldn’t work, and my responses wouldn’t go through. I panicked, hitting the submit button over and over again, but I saw nothing happen except the timer, counting down towards my demise. I thought maybe it was because of the pictures, so with one minute left, I scrambled to scan the photos instead, but the same thing happened. I started breathing faster, picturing myself wasting away the rest of May studying for the retake in June. I pressed the button again and again but it was useless; it simply wasn’t working. My last thought, with one minute left, was to go back to the link in my email and see if it would go through. I reentered the exam, with thirty seconds left, hands shaking, and rushed to attach my response and press submit again. “Congratulations” appeared in the screen and, in shock, I finally let out that sigh of relief. It was done. I took to Twitter after the exam, mostly to look for memes for comical relief from the traumatic experience, but I saw comment after comment about people having similar issues, some posting videos of themselves or their children crying, and others showing their screen as the timer counted down painfully while they tried in vain get their submit button to work. The College Board commented about these glitches, saying “outdated browsers were a primary cause of these challenges,” adding that these challenges were only faced by around 1% of test-takers. However, with over 1.5 AP exams already taken in the first week of testing (CNN), that 1% still leaves thousands of students who were prepared and ready and who worked hard during the allotted time to craft responses. Now they are faced with the prospect of having to wait weeks to retake it and again in order to prove their competency. AP exams are stressful enough, let alone with a whole new unknown format. These issues are just another thing that students now have to fear will get in the way of the success that we’ve worked so hard for this year.

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