The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Gunn students are faced with retaking AP tests

Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
Due to testing irregularities, many AP tests have been invalidated and need to be retaken. AP Psychology is one of the multiple AP tests currently under review by College Board that could have to be retested as well.

Months of preparation and many long nights of studying all culminate in a single set of exams: Advanced Placement (AP) tests.

Many Gunn High School students were outraged to learn that their AP tests were discounted due to errors made by the school administration.

Five AP tests at Gunn were invalidated due to exam violations, specifically seating and distribution errors. These five tests included AP Calculus BC, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and the two AP Physics C tests. Over 150 students were affected.

According to Palo Alto Online, the two different versions of AP Calculus BC were distributed incorrectly and as such, students sitting at the same table received the same version.

In the other four tests, seating was the issue. College Board administrative guidelines require students to sit at least five feet apart.

Gunn High School Principal Denis Herrmann said to Palo Alto Online, “When two students were seated at testing tables, they were seated less that the required five feet away from each other.”

According to NBC Bay Area, Herrmann sent a letter to the school community to explain the situation with the invalidated tests.

Herrmann wrote in her letter, “While we were hoping that our students would not need to retake their exams, College Board has determined that it is necessary for some of our students to do so […] I accept responsibility for the errors in our testing procedures and apologize for the inconvenience that this is causing for our families and students.”

Emily Cao, a senior at Gunn, started a petition on to cancel all end of the year assignments and finals for the AP classes whose tests now need to be restaken. Currently, the petition has 1,280 signatures.

On the petition, Cao describes the errors that caused the situation as “purely due to the administration’s failures to abide by the rules and regulations set by the College Board prior to proctoring these exams […] class time should be devoted to re-studying for exams that we should not have to take.”

Additional AP tests such as AP Psychology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Computer Science, and AP Chemistry are currently under review by College Board and may be subject to retesting as well, according to Palo Alto Online.

Many students and families protest against the undue stress that this has caused.

Gunn senior Lisa Hao said to Palo Alto Online, “These final days of senior year have turned into absolute hell week. Instead of being able to relax and enjoy my last days at Gunn, I’m forced to work and stress about both my projects and now my AP tests. I don’t believe that the students should be punished for something that was not in their control.”

Gunn ComplaintPosted by Parent / Screenshot by Hanalei Pham


Retesting will take place May 25 to May 27, the week before finals. Herrmann and other Gunn faculty members are working to brainstorm ideas to lessen student workload.

Many students from other schools sympathize with the Gunn students who now must retake the AP tests.

Josh Camerino, a sophomore at Carlmont who took the AP European History test, said, “Personally, I would take the test again. I don’t think it’s fair for the students to have to undergo all that stress and preparation again, but they should take the test again to get an AP score.”

About the Contributor
Hanalei Pham
Hanalei Pham, Scot Scoop Editor
Hanalei Pham is a Scot Scoop Editor. She also writes for The Highlander. She enjoys reading, painting, and doodling in the margins of her notebooks. She also likes spending time with friends. Twitter: @hanaleiph

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Gunn students are faced with retaking AP tests