AP/IB Test Performance

How COVID-19 affected the way students and teachers did their jobs in school.


Mr. Brown AP scores from 2020 and 2021. Picture by Gabriella Harris

Going to school during a pandemic is something not everyone in the world can ever say they did. These last couple of years, however, may change the job of teaching forever.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people see things, including how everyone sees education now. Many students last year saw school as a joke because of the lack of care in these environments.

Ella Watson, a Senior from GlenOak, has been a member of the AP/IB classes for most of her high school career. This year, however, was a real game-changer.

Watson believed teachers tried their best to not worry kids about the future of the pandemic. Despite this, there was always the constant fear of quarantine where it was known students would fall behind on their work. 

“I was worried about getting quarantined and missing class, and not knowing what was going on when I came back,” Watson said. 

The AP and IB programs have tried to fight back during the pandemic by attempting new creative and fun ways for their students to stay motivated. With a limited amount of time and students in the classroom, this was a widespread struggle.

Watson also explains how the programs during the pandemic were very sparing and forgiving, compared to prior years of being a student in these higher-level classes.

“Tests were a lot more lenient last year,” Watson said. “But, I think this only encouraged kids to rely on notes for tests instead of their own knowledge.” 

  As worried and strained as students were, teachers are still living in stress and uneasiness about their jobs. 

Ryan Foltz, an IB Global Politics and American Government teacher, has explained the struggles of working via pandemic, the constant uncertainty of his job, how he has adapted to it and the difficulties going along . 

“The most difficult part of teaching IB Global Politics during last school year was not being able to hold meaningful conversations with my students like in previous years,” Foltz said. “With the hybrid model, and some students on remote learning, the depth of our discussions were more limited.” 

Foltz also discusses the change in curriculum to the adaptation of students constantly going online with less than a day’s notice most of the time. 

“We had to break up the lessons so the students would have work to do when they were remote,” Foltz said. 

In slight contrast to Foltz, the IB Spanish teacher Pamela Dentler expresses her time last year as scary. Yet having her worries motivated her to keep going and push her students to overcome their fears as well as her own. 

“Of course I had worries,” Dentler said. “However, the focus was and still is EYES FORWARD; to come out of this pandemic stronger than when we went into it.”

Reflecting on test performances for her students, Dentler saw no major changes besides the constant uploading of “remote work” onto Google Classroom, for her students to not have fears of falling behind if/when they got quarantined, similar to Foltz. 

Instruction was adapted, of course. Since the beginning of last year, I posted in Google Classroom daily for every class as if we were ‘remote’,” Dentler said. “All instruction, notes, handouts, activities, etc are uploaded digitally, just in case someone falls ill and/or is quarantined.” 

AP/IB overall test performance seemed to not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it varied from class-to-class, students learned to rely on themselves more, as well as continue to have a strong bond with their teachers during the uncertainty of the world.