AP Tests at Campolindo Nullified by ETS

Sohpia Bollag, Staff Writer

On Mon. May 16 the Campolindo High School administration informed students who had taken the AP tests for Calculus AB, Environmental Science, and Psychology that their scores for these tests had been nullified and that they would have to retake those tests later that week.

The Environmental Science, Calculus AB, and Psychology exams were rescheduled for Wed. May 18, Thurs. May 19, and Fri. May 20, respectively. The administration notified students in a memo, which stated that “ETS (Educational Testing Service) determined to nullify scores based on their finding of ‘testing irregularities’ in the form of ‘administrative errors’ related to student seating.”

Essentially, the Campolindo administration seated students too close together—three feet apart instead of the regulation five feet—therefore invalidating the students’ scores.

“My initial reaction was I thought it was a joke,” said Campolindo senior Jason Lee, who had taken all three nullified exams earlier that month. “I thought to myself, ‘Wow, what did I do so that the administration is playing a joke on me?’ But then I talked to the teachers about it and realized the terrible reality.”

Junior Gail Wilson, who retook the Calculus AB exam, explained that her math class reacted in much the same way upon hearing the news.

“At first my whole class thought it was a joke,” said Wilson, “but then the principal came in to explain.”
Because Calculus AB, Environmental Science, and Psychology are among the most popular AP exams at Campolindo, some students estimated that between 100-300 individual students were affected by the nullification, but were unsure of the exact number. Campolindo spent a total of $35,000 on the exams that needed to be retaken.

Coincidentally, the week of May 16 also happened to be the week of several spring sports teams’ NCS (North Coast Section) games, creating a potential conflict for many students. Lee, for example, is a member of the men’s volleyball team at Campolindo and participated in NCS games after school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of that week. In Lee’s case, the scheduling of these games did not directly conflict with the scheduling of the AP exam retakes, but students on the Campolindo swim team who also took the AP Psychology exam found themselves having to choose between their NCS meet and their test retake, which were both scheduled for Fri. May 20 during school.

According to junior Leah Wolk, who retook the Environmental Science exam, other students opted not to retake their exams because they were too busy that week with academics for other classes or felt that they were no longer prepared to take the exams.

“We hadn’t been studying for two weeks,” explained Wilson.
Students were not charged for the retake, but those who opted not to retake their nullified exams were not refunded the original price of the exams.

Wilson, personally, tried to see the situation in a more positive light after initial annoyance, and views the first exam she took during AP weeks (the first two weeks of May) as simply a practice exam.
Overall, Wilson thought that retaking the test was probably not detrimental to her score.
“I felt like it didn’t affect my score that much,” she said.

Other students, however, thought that their scores had been negatively impacted because of the rescheduling. Junior Shannon Ghamghami, who retook the Psychology exam, said that she thought the retake impacted her score negatively.

“The retake was two and a half weeks later and most of us had forgotten the material and none of us really studied,” said Ghamghami.

In general, after initial surprise, Campolindo students tended to be upset with the administration for making the seating error in the first place.

“I was disappointed in the administration because they could have prevented it,” said Wolk.
Overall, Wolk said that the incident made students “really unhappy” with the administration.
Despite initial disappointment and frustration, many Campolindo students seem to have relaxed about the tests now that they are finished retaking them. As Wilson put it, “Now we’re done, so we’re fine.”