In August, the College Board announced a new website designed to complement Advanced Placement courses. “AP Classroom” offers standardized year-long curricular sequences, divided into nine units. These sequences create cookie-cutter course structures to prepare students for the paid exams taken to earn college credit.

AP classes will also feature another change this year: students must buy exams in November instead of March, and there’s a new $40 cancellation fee. These combined changes will raise the stakes for students, increasing already intense pressure, and push teachers to turn their courses — purportedly college equivalents — into glorified test prep.

Abrams teaches and writes in New York.

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