Fire Drill Disrupts AP Testing

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A fire drill occurred today at 10:17 a.m., interrupting the regular class schedule as well as the Advanced Placement United States History and German exams.

“I thought, ‘Is this a joke?’ ” sophomore APUSH student Julia Thome said. “Do we have to go out?”

In an email sent to families of affected students and posted on the Shaker webpage, Principal Michael Griffith said the fire drill “was mistakenly scheduled.” He assured recipients that the necessary precautions were taken to not invalidate students’ tests, including securing the test materials, supervising the students during the 15-minute drill to prevent talking and the addition of extra time “at the end of the testing period to compensate for the time lost during the drill.”

“It was right after we finished the reading period for the DBQ [Document-Based Question],” said sophomore Natalie Martin, an APUSH student. She was happy for the break because “we could think about it [the question] without being timed.”

Sophomore Narayan Sundararajan, another APUSH student, was less pleased. “I was a bit annoyed because I had just figured out what to do with my essay,” he said. However, he added that the break “was kind of helpful because we got fresh air.”
Thome agreed. “It [the break] didn’t give me answers,” she said. “It just gave me time to calm down and collect my thoughts.”

The College Board, which administers the AP exams, requires reports on test interruptions. Griffith wrote in his email that the administration is “filing the required incident report and information with The College Board.”

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