Most 2020 AP tests are just essay questions, and Wisconsin students and teachers aren’t sure how to prepare

Samantha West & Alec Johnson:

Over the 14 years Adam Wiskerchen has taught Advanced Placement psychology, he’s become something of an expert in predicting the concepts and skills that students may see on the high-stakes exams every spring.

The Preble High School social studies teacher has conducted an audit of a decade’s worth of exams, analyzing which terms most often appear in the multiple-choice and free-response essay questions on the test.

It’s not an exact science, but Wiskerchen said it helps him narrow the focus of his class and the review materials he gives students.

But this year, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rock the education world, Wiskerchen doesn’t know what to expect because, starting Monday, his students and millions of others face AP exams that will look nothing like those from years prior. The testing runs through May 22.

During a typical year, high school students with advanced skills take AP classes that are taught at what is considered a college level. Schools can offer classes in a range of subjects, from physics and chemistry to history and geography to English literature and foreign languages.