RB implements AP registration change


Joy Greco

Marc Helgeson helps a student register on the College Board AP Classroom website.

Bella Hagins and Ryan Schejbal

RB has implemented a new registration system for AP tests. The school has changed from Total Registration to the AP Pilot Registration system under the direction of Marc Helgeson, the director of testing. As a result, the deadlines in registering for the exams changed from early March for last year’s exams to October for this year’s exams.

“RB is participating in what’s called a ‘pilot program’ for the College Board. That’s the organization who runs Advancement Placement exams. Last year we were one of 80 schools who participated in this program where we had students register on a site called ‘AP Classroom’ for ordering exam purposes which is completely different than its been done in the past,” said Helgeson. “This year we are only using the AP site.”

Because of the changes to the system, the new site requires a new deadline change which is  almost five months earlier than the usual time.

“The deadlines changed because College Board wanted the deadlines to change,” said Helgeson. “They want kids to identify earlier whether or not they are taking exams.”

The new registration system will soon be used in all schools who offer AP exams. Right now there are about 800 schools using the new system.

“Last year we were one of 80 schools that used the pilot site. We’re now one of 800, and next year all 18,000 schools who take Advanced Placement exams will use this website to register and order tests,” said Helgeson.

As more and more schools get involved in the the system, teachers are adapting. Most of them have a positive outlook in regards to the changes.

“In past years, students have been required to hand draw and bubble in sheets. You’ve probably seen the standardized testing where you have to fill out your name and address. It takes forever and it’s annoying. The change now is you’ll be able to do it online through this College Board website. It definitely makes it faster and easier,” said Dan Bonarigo, who teaches AP Computer Science Principles and AP Calculus AB.

In addition to teachers seeing the new registration system as much more efficient, the website also provides helpful resources for students to prepare for the test.

“Now, there is an online portal and students’ information is already loaded once they take an exam, and we can order the test through there since it has saved that step for us. The other nice part with the AP community is that I can assign my classes different practice passages through the College Board AP community, and there are already tests that are helpful for the AP Literature and Composition tests. So it gives me a chance to use some other resources that students might be more happy to be a part of, rather than just paper and pencil,” said Wendy Cassens, who teaches AP Literature and Composition.

The new system, however, has some downsides as well.

“It’s still isn’t easy as I would like to see it. There were some kids who already had a login and they didn’t remember their password and they knew they had their password,” said Laura Nickleson, who teaches AP European History and AP U.S. Government and Politics.

Students also have been adapting to the new system.

“I guess I didn’t really notice the changes at first, but now that I think about it, it’s definitely a lot faster and easier and it’s probably great for teachers to keep track,” said senior Madeline Meehan, who is enrolled in AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, and AP Spanish Language.

The new site includes AP study resources for students who want to access practice problems to help prepare.

“The practice problems on the site are probably going to be really useful for when I start studying,” said Meehan.

The deadline to register has passed. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Mr. Helgeson at [email protected]

Editor’s Note: Marc Helgeson is the adviser for the Clarion journalism program at Riverside Brookfield High School. His participation in this article was unavoidable.