With the coronavirus pandemic pushing students into online school for the remainder of the year, the College Board has rushed to keep their end-of-year Advanced Placement exams in place. Each of the 38 AP classes has live review sessions on Youtube and resources meant to help students prepare and feel comfortable taking the exams in May and June.
However, these reviews may not provide the same level of educational content as students may have been receiving from their teachers in class. These videos, which can stretch from twenty minutes to an hour long, do not have the same content or activities that a teacher could provide in school. It can become harder to learn when one does not have the ability to ask questions or have a teacher assist them with their individual needs.
AP reviews serve as a good study guide, a secondary source of information that helps enrich a student’s knowledge of a subject in the case there is something they do not understand. With some teachers no longer giving full lessons or giving new material to their students, many might go to the reviews to teach themselves the information they are missing.
The majority of AP classes have had their exams reduced in size to only fit the curriculum that teachers should have covered before the schools were closed across the United States, and the new exams are exclusively free response questions as opposed to multiple choice. This works in favor of the usage of AP reviews, as it allows these longer videos to serve as a refresher for past lessons that students need to catch up on.
Another aspect to consider is that for each AP subject, there is only one teacher in each video. This means that the teaching style stays constant, but it also could hurt some students if that teacher does not teach in a way that is effective to the students watching. Students of each subject have to trust that the College Board has made the right choice for who will be instructing their class.
Overall, the video reviews the College Board has offered for AP students are useful in terms of revising for the exam, but fall short in certain areas. The reviews are not for every type of student, especially not for those who need a more hands on approach.They can be worth watching in anticipation for the AP exams, but could work better if individual teachers were to get more involved for their class.
Of course, AP teachers are still going to be guiding their classes before the exam, which can coincide with the videos that the College Board has offered, so that the extra material does not go to waste.
With a bit more variety in terms of teachers involved and more expansive lessons, the AP reviews can serve as great material before the exam.