Technical glitches delay AP Spanish Language exam

Delays due to a record 87 students taking the AP Spanish Language exam May 8 and a techincal malfunction caused some students to have to wait six hours before completing their tests.

“The issue with the Spanish [Language] AP is the fact that we have 87 test takers and 20 language lab spots,” Upper School Deans Coordinator Jordan Church said.

Because of the large number of students, test takers were split into five groups with approximately 17 students in each group. The exam was divided into five sections that were administered in four venues. The first sign of a SNAFU in the system occurred when Technology Center Director Christopher Gragg couldn’t play back to students what they had just recorded in the language lab. It was not clear what caused the problem.

Delays ensued as the fourth group of students had to wait over 20 minutes while the technical problem was being worked out.

As a result, the final group missed their rotation and had to move on to the final writing portion. Students in that group took the oral portion at the end.

Gordon Wintrob ’08, who was in the final group, said, “Mr. Church did a really good job trying to build a good system, but it was a complete debacle, and I didn’t get out of there until two.”
“I feel for the students,” Church said. “The Spanish Language exam is the longest exam out of all the other exams, and so to have to deal with this is tough.”

Some students complained about being shuffled around between four different testing sites and having to wait for long periods of time before being able to take different sections of the test.
Church and Gragg are both optimisitic about the future because the enrollment for Spanish Language is smaller by 20 students next year, and the language lab is being expanded to accommodate 36 students.

Next year there will only be two groups, both of which will complete the reading, writing and listening parts of the exam together in one room. Then one group will go into the language lab, and the second group will have to wait for the first group to finish before they can record.