Buzzfeed Could Get in Trouble with College Board for Disclosing an AP Language Essay Question

Katy Beth Boyers, Editor

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Buzzfeed wrote an article talking about one of the essay questions of the AP English Language and Composition exam before College Board posted the questions online for students to see.

Recently, high school students, including me, took the AP English Language and Composition exam, which included three essay questions. Buzzfeed at 5:33pm the same day of the exam posted an article called “A Ton of High Schoolers Took the Opportunity to Roast Trump in Their AP Exam Essays,” in which they talked about twitter posts by students who wrote an essay in which they roasted the President.

Normally, this would not be considered a big deal, unless they wrote what the question was.

“The question (which was based on “America the Illiterate,” a column by progressive writer Chris Hedges) asked how much of a role “artifice,” or cunning and deceit, play in politics,” says the Buzzfeed article.

What makes this a potential problem is that Buzzfeed found out about the essay question before it was posted on College Board, and students are not allowed to talk about the content of the exam unless it was posted on College Board.  According to College Board’s Exam Security, the College Board can cancel your score if you disclose any of the multiple choice or free response questions that are not posted on the College Board website or within two days of its administration.

“The College Board will automatically cancel your exam score if you are discovered disclosing:

  • multiple-choice questions;
  • free-response questions from an alternate exam;
  • free-response questions from a regularly scheduled exam within two days of its administration; or
  • free-response questions that are not released on the College Board website two days after the regularly scheduled exam administration.”

This article by Buzzfeed could get the writer and students in trouble because they disclosed a free response question before it was posted on College Board.

Here at Pope John Paul II High School, there is an honor code called Veritas. While we do not religiously follow Veritas, it is an honor code that many students should respect. The College Board has an honor code that students signed and agreed to following, and this article could result in students having their scores cancelled.

The overall concern in this situation is the violation of an honor code that students agreed to and signed, and Buzzfeed disclosing this essay question before it was posted on College Board could cause Buzzfeed and students to get in trouble.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Buzzfeed Could Get in Trouble with College Board for Disclosing an AP Language Essay Question”

  1. Joe Valasko on May 13th, 2017 6:22 pm

    Wow! My name is Joe Valasko and I am an English teacher from Virginia. I noticed your post in the comments section of the Buzzfeed article, and I must say that I am impressed. Not only with your writing skills, which are mature and succinct, but also with your ability to objectively see the situation from an angle that others (including the professionals at Buzzfeed) had completely overlooked. It’s refreshing to see such work from a school publication.
    Well done. Keep up the good work.

    [Reply]

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