Students were pleasantly surprised to find a free-response question about pop star Taylor Swift on the May 3rd version of the AP US Government and Politics Exam. The question asked students to analyze the content of an Instagram post from Swift that encouraged young people to register to vote for the 2018 midterm elections, and to connect the post to a wider discussion on voter registration.
Students often find the AP Exams stressful, and that’s especially true for 2021, with a majority of high school students around the country taking their AP classes virtually. So imagine the delight of students when they discovered that the subject of a free-response question was Taylor Swift. Fans of Swift enjoyed getting the chance to talk about a favorite musician on a big-time AP Exam. Some students even reported that the question boosted their confidence and made them feel more comfortable.
The College Board, who administers the AP Exams, was appreciative of the positive feedback on the question. "We're delighted to hear that AP students could relate what they've learned in their AP course to what they experience in their daily lives -- and in this case, what they've read on their Instagram feeds,” said Jerome White, a College Board spokesperson, to CNN.
Due to the changes to the AP Exams enacted for 2021, most exams have three separate testing dates, with each exam having its own version of the test. Students who will take the US Government and Politics exam at a later date won’t see the Taylor Swift question on their free-response section.
Have you taken an AP Exam yet this year? Was your test proctored in-person or virtually? Let us know about your experiences with the 2021 AP Exams in the comments below
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