Guide to the AP Exam: What You Should Know

Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know to complain about the AP Exam… and the retake!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

So the AP exams. They… happened. Students dreaded them. Surely you’ve heard of the horrid affairs of the students who underwent issues such as the scrolling of the questions, the hasty reading of the documents, the typing of an essay in under half an hour, or the horrible, horrible submit button, yeah? No? Oh, then let me enlighten you!

Let’s start with the biggest-brain choice students make while taking APs: some students—if you could even call them that—choose to log into the test not at the recommended 30 minutes before, not the precarious 15 minutes before, but five minutes before the test begins. Regardless of when, students eventually fill in the information on the pretest page… and then they’re hit with one of these: “Now type up the following.” But that’s not all! Look at the massive, large, and chunky chunk wall of text you have to type. Go ahead, type this up. Can you do it in less than five minutes?

I attest to the following: I shall not give or receive aid during this exam. My answers will be entirely my own. Plagiarism software will scan my responses. We also may or may not have just gained access to your history and mic, and we totally won't use that against you at any point. If I give or receive help or submit work that is not my own, my scores will be canceled and my loved ones will ‘disappear.’ Anyone who helps me or receives help from me will be punished accordingly. College Board is definitely NOT Reddit user dinosauce313. Now, please stop making indecent comments under uUH I MEAN dinosauce313’s posts. College Board owns the rights to your sinful soul, should you cheat on this exam. My grandfather picks up quartz and valuable onyx jewels. Send 60 dozen quart jars and 12 black pans. Also, send help. They’ve trapped me in the software. Please. I’m begging you. Let me OU—College Board reserves the right to let your college know, utilizing the most secretive of secret techniques, if you cheat. For reals tho, we know everything.

Were you able to type that out in less than five minutes? Then congrats, you made it to the test on time. If you failed and learned that you can’t type 553.33 words per minute, that’s too bad. You just lost valuable time from your actual exam. Well, it’s totally on you for not showing up on time… which was 30 minutes ago. Imagine how those kids taking this exam at 3:00 a.m. must feel.

So what is the AP exam even like? Well, let’s see… the compilation of everything you have ever learned in this course AND the entirety of your grade is composed of… two questions? Just two?

Some might think this seems relatively easy. But don’t go around thinking that! See, the two questions that you get are not the same as the ones your friend gets. Or your other friend. Or their friends. The questions are randomized! So you might get lucky and get super easy questions! Or you might not and get the hard questions instead.

So the page loads, the pop-up that says to begin shows up in your face, eats up like 10 whole seconds to close (so thanks College Board for wasting even more time we don’t have), and then you get the first question.

“Oh, that’s it?” you think, and you scroll down a little.

“Wait, there’s more?” you think as you scroll down some more.

“Where does this eeeeeeeend?” you think as you ferociously scroll down into the pits of Hell.

Haha, you’re screwed.

Then, you go back to the top. You think to yourself, “Surely, if I break this down into something I can understand, then I can just… answer the question. It surely can’t be that hard, right? Huh?”

Suddenly, the question is in French.

Who understands French? I don’t. You probably don’t. Not even the French understand French. What is French? What is it? Who made it? WHY DOES IT EXIST? Nothing makes sense anymore. Who invented these torturous elements of speech, these hellish syntaxes, these awful polyhomonyms? Who has cursed you to fail? They said it was only two questions! Not multiple questions disguised as one Big One. What the McHeck is this???

But nevertheless, you are getting that 5, regardless of whether you have to pry it from the College Board’s cold, dead hands or not.

You look at the clock. Great, you’ve just wasted five minutes trying to read the question. Well, you don’t have any more time to waste on reading, so let’s try a hand at answering the question without knowing what it says. Surely, if you just finesse the paragraph with your SAT vocabulary, the College Board test graders won’t be able to tell your answer apart from the other 5s. They would never floccinaucinihilipilification-ify your sophisticatedly elegantly articulated responses if you just insert phrases like “truncated,” “candidly,” and “you believe I deserve a 5.”

And then you hit submit.

The submit button? Oh golly, that’s decidedly the best part. Sure, give me 20 minutes to write you an entire essay, and then tell me I have five extra minutes to submit my exam. Surely I’ll wrap up before then and actually spend those five minutes submitting it. But, let’s be honest, we all know that ain’t happening. I sure as hell can’t even write this article in 20 minutes, so what makes you think I can crap out an entire essay in that time? Besides, I’m sure I can use some of those five minutes. Clicking a button shouldn’t be so hard. It’s like, what, a two-second job? Right? Right?


I think we all know what happened there. But there is a way out, fellow submit-button-problem friends! And that is… applying for a retake. Yeah! College Board anticipated issues with our exams, and their solution was to make another one! Who cares about efficiency anyway? It’s your money in their pockets. As long as you have a *legitimate* reason for your request (and it’s totally not “I ran out of time lmao let this poor baby take your stinky exams again for better grades”), you can fill out a nice retake form, and College Board will get back to you on your request in two to three business weeks. Yeah, receiving the confirmation right before the retake exam date should do it. Have fun trying to restudy everything within the three days before the exams. And then, you can go through all of this… all over again. Have fun~! :D

Oh, what’s that? The submit button didn’t work again?

How tragic.

But you know what you can do? That’s right. Request ANOTHER makeup. And ANOTHER one. And ANOTHER one. Keep going until you squeeze every last drop from the College Board’s funds… and patience. Keep going until the College Board regrets every single sin they have committed and every single dollar that they spirited away from your exhausted soul and wallet. And then we will make them beg. On his knees, big College Board CEO head man (aka David Coleman; we pray for you dear Stuy alum) will beg underneath the sole of your shoe. And you will laugh because they are nothing but a large multimillion-dollar “nonprofit” company that refuses to fix their testing program for the sake of millions, and you are one very angry student.