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Administrators working to improve AP Spanish exam

Sophomore+Arlette+Rodriguez+uses+a+laptop+during+AP+Spanish+class.
Sophomore Arlette Rodriguez uses a laptop during AP Spanish class.

Sophomore Arlette Rodriguez uses a laptop during AP Spanish class.

Sophomore Arlette Rodriguez uses a laptop during AP Spanish class.

Miguel Montoya and Anthony Hernandez

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Bullard administrators and Advanced Placement Spanish teacher Mrs. Gamez will be working together to improve the AP Spanish exam environment after technical difficulties caused frustration among students who took the test earlier this month. 

The exam, administered May 2 in the cafeteria, went smoothly until the last section, when students were required to record themselves speaking Spanish  on laptop computers. Students had trouble using microphone-earbud setups that were distributed by the exam proctors at the beginning of the test.

Not being able to record their voices easily caused many of the 37 students taking the exam to become frustrated and agitated. The climate in the room quickly became heated and tense. Students became impatient, as a restaurant customer might if his food arrived to the table a half-hour late. 

Students were upset because they were taken by surprise by the sudden complications and that the test dragged on later than scheduled.

Junior Alissa Torres had hoped for a smoother AP experience.

Junior Alissa Torres, one of the test takers, did not think the exam went as smoothly as it could have.

“We studied the whole year preparing for that test, and we were already nervous walking into the exam,” she said. “Something needs to be changed.”

Senior Juliana Coronado also was unhappy.

“I think that the proctors should treat all students with respect, because they are the ones taking the exam,” she said. “While [administrators] give the AP Spanish exam, their mentality should have a positive effect on the students.” 

Bullard counselor Mrs. Payn, one of the exam’s proctors, said administrators are planning to meet before the school year ends to improve experience for students next year.

Payn said College Board would not allow her to discuss details of this year’s exam. But, she said, “We think there’s an easy solution to what happened, and we want to make it easy for the kids to take the exam.”

Gamez is all for that happening.

“The students work really hard for that day, and we want to make sure that they have the right environment and tools for them to be successful,” she said.

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Administrators working to improve AP Spanish exam