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What’s happening with AICE, IB and AP exams with schools closed over COVID-19?

International groups heading honors curricula will address the pandemic in different ways.

For many Florida school children, an order closing schools meant an extended spring break and an introduction to distance learning. But for many high schoolers, college credit and graduation deadlines were suddenly on the line.

AP testing, IB programs and AICE diplomas all depend on test performance, and not state standards suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis this year. Each program will address challenges in different ways. And for some students in these programs, the top college prep curricula in Florida, they can continue their schoolwork now even though schools in Florida remain closed until April 15.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE

The IB program has cancelled Diploma Programme and Career-related exams previously scheduled from April 30 through May 22 at sites around the world.

Instead, diplomas and completion certificates will be awarded based on coursework thus far.

“Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes,” reads a statement from IB World Schools.

The organizations plans to have details on assessments to IB schools by March 27. The international group has cancelled several conferences in China and Thailand.

Just because many programme exams are off doesn’t mean other projects have stopped as well, but there are adjusted deadlines. Internal assessments and portfolio deadlines previously set in April have been moved to May 20. Grade entry in many classes has been pushed to June 1. The program at conducting language oral assessments through video calls, but will establish security measures. The same goes for several other assessments, so check out the IB website for details.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT

The College Board is not cancelling its AP exams and instead will take decidedly online focus. Rather than the standard practice of congregating students for AP tests at the end of the year, the organization instead is setting up 45-minute secure online exams for each course.

Free learning resources can be accessed by students online immediately. Importantly, there will now be two dates offered for each exam, allowing some students who want to adhere to the original date while knowledge is still fresh to do so, while those whose academic curriculum has been disrupted can test at a later point. Practice tests will also be made available by the College Board directly to students. Beginning March 25, teachers and stduents can access free AP review courses online.

In many cases, tests will be adjusted so students are not producing essays and only going through multiple choice sections of the exams. But the changes in expectations for each AP test are delineated at the College Board website.

ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

Cambridge Assessment International Education has decided to cancel all May and June end-of-course exams worldwide. That includes all Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge AICE Diploma and Cambridge Pre-U tests.

“Our priority is to protect the safety and wellbeing of our students and teachers, ensure fairness for all our students and support them in continuing with their education,” reads a Cambridge statement.

Instead, the organization will work with schools to assess students’ achievements based on work in the course so far, and that will be used to determine if a student passes the AICE assessment.

Learning resources will still be available to students and teachers worldwide so they can continue with studies as appropriate. AICE schools can expect a further update on March 26 detailing guidance for the year.

Leaders for Cambridge, the College Board and IB World Schools say they are in contact with universities around the globe to ensure the shifts in programs caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic do not hinder students’ futures with higher education institutions.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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