College Board to Honor Muslim Holiday by Giving Another Exam Date Option

The College Board will be expanding testing options for the Advanced Placement exam to honor the Muslim holiday Eid-al-Fitr next school year.

This comes after local students and community members of Muslim faith expressing their concern of  Eid-al-Fitr coinciding with the date of the Advanced Placement exams — Thursday, May 13, 2021. They say as a result, some students could face the dilemma of observing their faith or taking the AP exam.

The College Board responded to concerns by giving the exam on a second date to support students who observe the religious holiday.

To support students observing Eid-al-Fitr, we’ll be administering all exams planned for May 13, 2021, again on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The full 2020-21 Exam schedule will be posted in mid-December,” said College Board Media Relations Director, Jerome White via an email message.

Eid, also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The date and celebration for Eid varies from year to year based on the Islamic lunar calendar.

During a Montgomery County Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Muslim students and community members asked for schools to be closed on the religious holiday.

The Board of Education sent a letter to The College Board National Office on Nov. 5 on behalf of MCPS students requesting that they consider excluding May 13, 2021, as an AP administration date to ensure all students have the equal opportunity to participate in the exam.

The letter states that:

“… more than a dozen of community members expressed their concern of students being able to observe Eid-al-Fitr without negative consequences to their ability to demonstrate academic process in a particular course content…”

Currently, MCPS excuses the absences of students observing Eid. It is also mentioned in the MCPS Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity.

MCPS officials say the school board is scheduled to finalize the 2020-21 school calendar at a meeting sometime in mid-December.

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