by Emma Burstiner
On Thursday, July 11, many students’ stomachs dropped as they read an email from Dr. Toni Jones, the new superintendent. They were informed that many students did not receive scores in “Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, English Language, or Physics.” They were told by Dr. Jones that “the free response sections ha[d] not been graded…because ETS (the College Board) w[as] unable to locate one shipping box.” While the multiple choice sections were secure and scored, none of these exams’ free response sections had been graded.
This meant that about 200 exams were lost, according to Dr. Jones. Students use their AP credits as college course credit and they are often used for course placement.
These scores are also important for students applying to college. After spending hours studying and a year of hard work learning this difficult material at a fast pace, many students and their parents were devastated to hear that the scores were lost. Some students even lost multiple exam scores.
Senior Anika Gupta shared, “I was upset to hear that my AP Biology test score was missing. I worked hard all year and it is really disappointing that the College Board misplaced a box of exams. I would like more information on what is going to happen next.”
On July 18, a new update was sent to the affected parents and students. In this email, ETS and the College Board sent documents regarding procedure for outstanding exams. One document listed the options for each lost exam, and the other explained what a projected score is. Students in Art History, Biology, Calc AB, Physics C & E, and Physics C Mechanics were given three options: “Retest/Cancel/Receive a Projected Score From Multiple Choice.” Students in English Language were only given two options: “Retest/Cancel.”
A projected score is an option from the College Board when the unaffected portion “contributes at least 50 percent of the maximum exam score.” Further, projections are “derived from the current exam population’s complete scores,” as explained by the College Board.
Students were not given any information explaining when they would retest, and parents were not given the option to receive a refund for their child’s exam. This unknown factor created stress for many families as students in some classes would need to begin studying for the exam if they would be retesting in the near future. Additionally, students using the missing score for potential college credit would likely be unable to retest as their year at college would have already begun according to an Anonymous Graduated GHS senior.
Then, on Tuesday, July 23, affected families received notification that ETS located a “box.” Dr. Jones stated that this “box” could be the GHS AP exams. This was an exciting glimmer of hope for students and families, yet it seemed almost impossible. Gupta then stated “I was surprised and unsure that the box was our exams, but I was very hopeful and excited about the potential!” Students, as of July 23, still had not received any more information about when retesting would take place if it was not our box.
Finally, on July 25 at 2:49 in the afternoon, students and parents affected were notified that the scores were found. The scores were uploaded quickly and families were overjoyed that there would be no need to retest, cancel or receive projected scores. This AP disaster truly had a happy ending.