May saw students all over the world giving their Advanced Placement (AP) tests for admission into higher education schools. Among these were also students giving the AP exam in India, aspiring to go abroad for their studies. Well, while most people might be concerned about students setting up Discord channels for cheating or the timings of the test itself—9:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m., and 1:30 a.m. for India!—a far graver issue popped up while the students were submitting their exams in May.
As you might know, the iPhone default settings save photos taken in HEIC format, which are much smaller in size and allow for greater storage use. However, this format is notorious for causing iPhone users trouble as it often proves incompatible while sharing and uploading the images, and users have to convert them later.
Well, if you didn’t know, you’re not the only one! The AP CollegeBoard tests required students to upload images of their answers after taking them. As students giving the AP exam in India failed to upload their answers, the iPhone users found out this fact themselves as the HEIC format was not supported by the CollegeBoard website.
While many were able to submit their answers on time, there were a few who were uploading last minute and were thus unable to upload their answers due to the error.
Students and teachers reached out to CollegeBoard after the issue popped up on the first day of exams, to which CollegeBoard only had to say:
If you want to submit a photo of a handwritten AP Exam answer from an iPhone or iPad, make sure to change your camera settings so your photos are saved as JPEGs, not HEICs. Go to Settings > Camera > Formats > Select “Most Compatible.”— The College Board (@CollegeBoard) May 12, 2020
More details: https://t.co/Hqg0CKbB4A. pic.twitter.com/DZ0lLttDgm
As you can imagine, the response was… not very positive.
Exactly the same for my daughter. The HEIC issue was not raised that I can see until May 12 and then on Twitter?!?!? Did they really not know about the iPhone issue especially when our kids did the demo, some of us twice!!!— Julian (@Julian35369322) May 14, 2020
This is a mess. You send this out ON TWITTER this Morning? Couldn’t you have pushed something out to tell those students about this JPEG vs HEIC issue? I am seeing many people saying that they got the “Congratulations” screen & then got a notification 10 hours later! Do better.— JMUclawingDUKES (@dukes_jm) May 13, 2020
Or after thousands of kids weren’t able to upload their work and have to retest in 3 weeks!— Kerry Bracco (@KerryBracco) May 12, 2020
Well, either way, it seems the students who were unable to submit their answers will have to take the retest in June. If you’re one of them, make sure to change your iPhone settings before the exam! And if you know someone who’s in a similar predicament, spread the word and do them a favour. Also, since the COVID situation doesn’t seem to be resolving anytime soon, this might be an important point to remember when giving online tests or dealing with online portals in general.
To the students giving their exams… all the best!