I would like to respond to Marsha Labunskyâs MayÂ 30 article about the AP Spanish Language exam (âTechnical glitches delay AP Spanish Language examâ).Â
The article states that the AP Spanish Language exam is supposed to take a little over three hours, implying that the technical problems alone are to blame for the fact that some students didnât finish the exam until 2 p.m.Â
However, I would like to point out that this exam (with its new format) couldnât possibly be administered in a little over three hours, even under ideal conditions.Â
I participate in an electronic discussion group of AP Language teachers, and many other teachers reported information about how the test administration went in their schools.Â The shortest test time that anyone reported was four hours, 45 minutes.Â That was the time reported in schools where there werenât five large groups of students sharing a language lab, and where nothing went wrong.
In some cases, students spent eight hours taking the exam; this happened in schools where a number of students were sharing the same tape recorders in order to record the speaking portion of the exam.Â Some of those students couldnât take the AP Statistics exam that day because of the length of the Spanish exam.Â
I do not mean to imply that Marsha Labunsky doesnât have a good point in questioning the length of the exam.Â Many of us in my listserv agreed that we didnât have to take a five-hour exam to get our Masterâs Degree!Â It would be interesting to see how the College Board would answer the question of why the AP Spanish Language exam has to be so very long and arduous.
Figuring out the logistics of giving this exam is a Herculean task; [Jordan] Church, [Chris] Gragg and [Narciso] Santiago are to be commended for their hard work in making it all happen.Â I look forward to [this] year when, hopefully, the day will be a bit shorter for the students taking the test.
Â Ââ Margot Riemer