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  1. If your students earns a grade in an AP class, do you add some amount to the grade point (0.3? 1.0?) or do you add an extra fraction of a unit or credit? Also, can someone explain the difference between weighted and unweighted GPA?
  2. I am looking for a French I class that meets either AP or college credit requirements. Debra Bell's AIM Academy AP French I seems pricey to me. Has anyone here tried College Plus for high school AP courses? If you have suggestions for any online courses (the less expensive are appealing to me), would you mind sharing those with me? Thanks!
  3. AP Trevor has begun tweeting the overall score distributions and test comments on the AP twitter account. Macroeconomics and Microeconomics were released today. Calculus AB and BC are supposed to be released on Monday. You can compare with results from previous years at TotalRegistration. Individual scores will be released beginning July 5. AP Macroeconomics Scores: 5: 16.1%; 4: 23.4%; 3: 16.2%; 2: 17.5%; 1: 26.8%. These may shift slightly as late exams are scored.28 students worldwide (out of 135,000) earned all 90 points possible on this year’s AP Macroeconomics exam.More than 40% of AP Macro students found FRQ2 on loans/demand deposits extremely difficult, earning 0 pts:More than a third of AP Macro students aced this FRQ3 on specialization & trade, earning all 5 pts possible:AP Macro students did extremely well on multiple-choice, esp on economic growth; most challenging were the financial sector questions.AP Macroeconomics continues to see score increases: the % of 3,4,5s is higher than 5 years ago & 50% more students are participating. AP Microeconomics Scores: 5: 15.3%; 4: 27.3%; 3: 23%; 2: 14.4%; 1: 20%. These may shift slightly as late exams are scored.47 students worldwide (out of 83,000) earned all 90 points possible on this year’s AP Microeconomics Exam.AP Micro scores were generally highest on FRQ2 (consumer choice) & lowest on FRQ3 (monopolistic competition)AP Micro students did quite well across multiple-choice questions; the most challenging were on firm behavior and market structure.scores are generally lower this year than last, but still higher than 5 yrs ago when 50% fewer participated.
  4. My dd is taking AP biology her sophomore year and wants to do some preparation this summer. She hasn't had high school biology, but she did take AP chemistry her freshman year (this year) and is doing well. Is there anything particularly difficult in AP biology that she could get a handle on now? Memorize the Kreb's cycle? Learn how a kidney works? Study the difference between transcription and translation?
  5. "We’re excited to announce updates to the AP Calculus AB and BC courses and exams, taking effect in the 2016-17 school year. ... What AP Calculus students should know and be able to do will be more clearly defined, in the enduring understandings, learning objectives, and essential knowledge statements outlined in the curriculum framework in the AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2016 (.pdf/5.92MB). The updated courses will place an increased emphasis on conceptual understanding through the Mathematical Practices for AP Calculus (MPACs): reasoning with definitions and theorems, connecting concepts, implementing algebraic/computational processes, connecting multiple representations, building notational fluency, and communicating. Each concept and learning objective that will be addressed in the updated courses can be linked to one or more of these MPACs. No topics will be removed from the AP Calculus program, and the following topics will be added:L’Hospital’s Rule will be included in AP Calculus AB. The limit comparison test, absolute and conditional convergence, and the alternating series error bound will be added to AP Calculus BC." More details and sample on webpage https://advancesinap.collegeboard.org/stem/calculus
  6. Hello, Can anyone give me a recommendation for the best calculator for the AP Chemistry exam? It would be a bonus if it is also good for the SAT/ACT and other APs like AP Calculus. But, if I need to buy more than one, I will. The TI-84 plus series was recommended, but there seem to be several versions of it. I know that a simpler, cheaper calculator is also okay. We have the TI-30X IIS, and can use that one. I just thought it might be good to go ahead and start using one of the graphing calculators since those will be needed for other exams, like AP Calculus, and start getting familiar with it. I also read that a familiar calculator is better than the "perfect" calculator, which I thought was good advice, and which is why I want to get one now that could be used for multiple exams. For SATs, the TI-89 calculator was recommended as being a good one on a blog I just read. I don't know if that one is approved for the AP Chem exam also though. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
  7. Free 180 page report in PDF link on webpage http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/curriculum-development-resources/national-studies-college-calculus Interesting for parents thinking of DE. Also data on AP Calc AB and Calc BC kids survival in Calc 1.
  8. Yeah, I know, it depends on the student and their interests and strengths, but generally speaking/on average/everything else being equal, what is your vote. Most difficult AP: Easiest AP:
  9. http://blog.prepscholar.com/the-5-worst-problems-with-college-board-ap-program
  10. I thought we could have a thread in which we post links to the FRQs from the 2015 AP tests. That way we can get access to them without any additional waiting and grill our DC on what they missed got right. I'll pull all the links up to this post for easy access. 2015 AP Art History Image-Based MCs and FRQs 2015 AP Biology FRQs 2015 AP Calculus AB FRQs 2015 AP Calculus BC FRQs 2015 AP Chemistry FRQs 2015 AP Chinese Language and Culture FRQs 2015 AP Chinese Audio Prompts 2015 AP Comparative Government and Politics FRQs 2015 AP Computer Science A FRQs I also posted unofficial answers to the 2015 AP Computer Science A FRQs here. 2015 AP English Literature and Composition FRQs 2015 AP English Language and Composition FRQs 2015 AP Environmental Science FRQs 2015 AP European History FRQs 2015 AP French Language and Culture FRQs 2015 AP French Audio Scripts 2015 AP French Audio Prompts 2015 AP German Language and Culture FRQs 2015 AP German Audio Scripts 2015 AP German Audio Prompts 2015 AP Human Geography FRQs 2015 AP Italian Language and Culture FRQs 2015 AP Italian Audio Scripts 2015 AP Italian Audio Prompts 2015 AP Japanese Language and Culture FRQs 2015 AP Japanese Audio Prompts 2015 AP Latin FRQs 2015 AP Macroeconomics FRQs 2015 AP Microeconomics FRQs 2015 AP Music Theory FRQs 2015 AP Music Theory: Sight-Singing FRQs 2015 AP Music Theory Audio Prompts 2015 AP Physics 1: Algebra-based FRQs 2015 AP Physics 2: Algebra-based FRQs 2015 AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism FRQs 2015 AP Physics C: Mechanics FRQs 2015 AP Psychology FRQs 2015 AP Seminar End-of-Course Exam Questions and Sources 2015 AP Spanish Language and Culture FRQs 2015 AP Spanish Audio Scripts 2015 AP Spanish Literature and Culture FRQs 2015 AP Statistics FRQs 2015 AP United States Government and Politics FRQs 2015 AP United States History FRQs 2015 AP World History FRQs
  11. Has anyone here used CTY for AP US History. Dd is considering this for a class but they have not been willing to either share the class syllabus or give us any indication of the type, number and frequency of assignments and assessments. Does anyone have any insight so we can decide if this is a good fit? Thanks!!
  12. 2 related questions regarding the DSST Principles of Physical Science exam #1. Is the amount of Physics knowledge needed for this exam significantly less than for either of the 2 Algebra-based AP Physics exams? [This (academic) year, the College Board split their old AP Physics B exam into 2 exams -- AP Physics 1, Algebra-Based and AP Physics 2, Algebra-Based.] #2. Is the amount of Chemistry knowledge needed for this exam signicantly less than for either the AP or CLEP Chemistry exams? Thanks. - RJ in Delaware
  13. Hello all, I am trying to sort out our plan for next year. My son will be a 10th grader and is most likely interested in a STEM major at this point. (I say most likely because I want to keep options open for anything.) I have been doing a lot of reading here and on college websites about their admissions requirements, and I have a few questions about testing. I am going to make two threads because I want to ask questions about reporting test scores, but also figuring out which tests to take. So, in regards to reporting test scores: 1) For AP and SAT 2 tests, do you have control over which scores get reported to the colleges? For example, if you were to get a poor score on an AP test, but 4s and 5s on the rest of them, can you send only the 4 and 5 scores? Or, if you send a report from the AP or SAT 2 place, will it include all the tests you've taken? Is the answer different for AP and SAT 2? 2) Can you retake an AP or an SAT 2 if you get a poor score? And if you do, again, can you choose not to send the lower score? Or will a report show both scores? 3) If you take completely optional tests, like Le Grand Concours, the national French exam, for example, and you don't do well, can you just choose to not include that in your applications? Just because you take a test, does that automatically mean that you should send those scores to the colleges? When my kids were younger, I really didn't like the idea of teaching to a test, memorizing facts to spit back out, etc., I mean it's the main reason we have homeschooled. But now that they are older, I understand needing to have some validation, and I want my child to have experience with that kind of testing. I want him to have opportunities for whatever he wants to try for. At the same time, I don't want all of our time taken up by studying for high stakes tests. So, I'm trying to strike a balance. And I want to know upfront how much wiggle room there is for us to give things a try. If you take a test, and you don't get a good score, will it hurt you? Or is it one of those things where, it can't hurt you if you try? Thanks for any insight!
  14. Possibly of interest to some of you. This was mentioned in the weekly email newsletter I receive from About.com about Distance Learning. Here's the link: http://distancelearn.about.com/od/virtualhighschools/fl/How-to-Take-Free-Online-AP-Classes-from-edX.htm?nl=1
  15. Could someone offer advice on preparing for the AP Biology test independently? What books did you use and how did you study? (I realize that an AP Biology course would not be placed on the transcript for a self-study class.) Thank you for your help.
  16. How have you found schools willing to allow homeschoolers to take the AP exam at their site? Who do you contact? The admin office, department chair, AP teacher? When is a good time to begin the search? If they don't offer a particular AP course, then should I not bother asking? What should I keep in mind about their point of view with respect to allowing homeschoolers at their AP exam? Is it more work for them? What misconceptions do they have that I might need to negate? My kids have never been enrolled in a school, so I have scant inside contacts, though I may be able to get some help from neighbors and local homeschoolers. But I may be cold-calling some schools. Any help is appreciated!
  17. Kolbe announced today that their Advanced Honours Biology class has received the green flag from College Board for the AP designation. http://kolbe.org/news/ap-biology-course/ YEAH! I'm a happy camper! PA homeschoolers didn't work for us, as my kid truly need direct interaction with a teacher, not asynchronous interaction. Here's the link to the class description http://kolbe.org/online-courses/course-offerings/2014-15-school-year/high-school/online-science-courses/wcs-bio-ap/ The class meets twice a week, for an hour each time. Monday and Thursday, 6h25 -7h25 pm Eastern time. (yea it's a bit late, but it allows the West Coast to take part) My son is taking this class btw.
  18. My daughter worked with tutors and self-studied for AP Lit and APUSH, and got 4s on the exams. I know that lots of people translate AP self-studies to a grade where 5=A, 4=B, etc. When you look at the stats, 7% of the Lit scores are 5s, and 10% 5s for APUSH. I'm sure that there are plenty of kids in bricks-and-mortar schools who got A's in their course but a 4 on the test. Is there a non-sleazy rationale for giving a higher grade than B? And the tutor offered (previously, before we knew the scores) to write evaluations and give her grades. I don't want to anything that would raise questions about her transcript, but it is junior year and Bs aren't ideal.
  19. So- I have one student who has Earth Science and Chem w/Lab under her belt for 9th and 10th. We have a couple options for 11 & 12 (all courses are intended to include labs). 1)Bio then AP Biology 2)Physics and Bio (in either order) 3)Physics then AP Bio (with no earlier Bio class) I am trying to decide if AP Bio really needs a year introductory course first or if you can jump right in. The student is leaning towards the 2 bio sequence but wants to do what is best and not have a transcript that looks too easy. This is not a future STEM major and she will have completed Algebra II and Geometry before taking any of these classes. Opinions, comments, experiences--please!
  20. After teaching 4 years of APWH, APUSH and APEH, including 3 years as a reader (dropped APEH and APEngLit after they came up with the 'one subject requirement') with high passing rates, here are my tips and tricks for teaching AP History courses: AP United States History: The course was redesigned. It is going to be our first year with the redesigned course, and it is important to adapt ourselves to it. The good things are that the course description is now as detailed as APWH (so it helps you be sure that you covered everything to the little details) and that the exam at least looks more doable. A full practice exam is already available for AP Course Audit approved teachers (inc. homeschool teachers). I use America's History published by Bedford St. Martin's/ Do not skip content. Many of my students, especially those coming from Middle Eastern educational systems, tend to "gamble" on exam content (i.e. what can I not study without penalty?). The answer is, obviously, NOTHING. Students usually have to show detailed understanding of all periods. Substantiate everything with relevant historical information. The more the merrier. You are not penalised for saying wrong things, but you are rewarded for saying right things. Be sure to add relevant historical information even in your DBQ answers. AP European History: My only advice for this year: WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR. The course is redesigned. AP World History: Focus on big ideas and themes. World History is about the big picture, unlike APUSH and APEU that are all for details. Students need to understand how world history is connected by interactions, and even more important: what continued, what changed. Follow the course description. The course description is very detailed and can work for your as a checklist. DBQ your life out. The DBQ is only essay in APWH where prior historical knowledge doesn't give you anything. The more your practice, the better you write. Emphasise the difference between 'understands the basic meaning of the documents' and 'supports thesis with appropriate evidence from all or all but one document'. None of them asks you to summarise the documents. Trust me, by the time we read your student's essay in the reading we know the documents by heart. Providing evidence requires for recalling a specific element that is unique to this document. Can be a quote, but doesn't have to. Understanding means that the spirit, intention, and content of each document should be correctly interpreted. Merely quoting, summarising, paraphrasing or attributing are not "supporting" the thesis unless they... support the thesis. They need to relate back to it; hence saying that "Zhi Dun says in Document #2 that ..." is not supporting your thesis. "The financial pressure implied in the second question of the Desposition of Error (Doc #3) is echoed in Emperor Wu's Edict (Doc #6)" is an excellent support, as it draws from two documents to support the thesis. Do not quote large chunks! I say no more than 5 words. Maximum 10. POV POV POV. The chief reader every year chooses whether the students need 2/3/4 POVs, usually 2. Try to POV as many times as you can, because you are not docked for wrong attempts. POV doesn't mean bias, and please stop focusing on that. POV explains why this particular person might have this particular opinion or evaluates the trustworthiness of the document. My favourite analysis methods are asking WHO produced this document (discussing his age, gender, ethnicity, social status, religion, intellect and how it affects his understanding of reality), asking WHEN was it produced, asking to WHOM was it written (and how it affects the writing of the document) and asking WHY was it written. Saying that Tan Emperor Wu (Doc #6) is biased because he is the emperor is... wrong. Stating the occupation itself does not qualify as "bias". Additional document - no more women peasants. If I had a penny for every time I read that one good additional document would be from a woman/peasant... Think of this one as additional evidence rather than additional document. Link the required document to what you can do with it. It usually would not really help you hearing from a woman. Would it? Tell me why. Some people will define CCOTs as THE ULTIMATE HELL. The Continuities and Change Over Time essay requires you to look for what changed (which is usually the easier part) and what stayed the same. World Historical Context does not mean comparison. World Historical Context asks you to show how A works within B. So saying that like Han China, Rome also suffered from Barbarian invasions will not count. However, saying that Rome was not the only one to suffer from Barbarian invasions, as virtually all classical empires experienced Barbaric invasions is good. It must be tied to the question and must explain either the cause or the impact with relevant global context. So noting that the Cold War was the dominant foreign event that premeated all domestic affairs in southeast Asia is nice to mention, but is not related to the question (in our case the formation of national identities). Analyse, analyse, analyse. You need to analyse the reason for at least one change/one continuity. Analysis is simply X happened because Y. The only tip I can give you about Comparatives that is not covered with CCOT's is direct comparisons. Drawing direct, accurate comparisons is required. General essay tips. THESIS - many, many essays fall because of inadequate thesis. Consider "very, many, things, lots, stuff, ways" as our thesis graveyard. A marginally acceptable thesis looks something like that: DBQ: "There were mixed responses to Buddhism in China in the 6th century: some were positive, some were negative." Comparative: "The Russian Empire and the Spanish Empire were politically and socially different but economically both needed to expand to get the materials needed." More specificity and more analysis makes your thesis stronger, makes you more organised and generally makes sure that you're on track. Read sample essays! Readers also have annotated samples from PD, but even unannotated ones that have official scores are good for analysis. My favourite textbook is Ways of the World (2nd edition) by Strayer. It's a textbook that students love to read. ​My favourite prep book is Crash Course by REA. Written by one of my most experienced colleagues, it is often praised by students. PERSIA your way. Have students write a PERSIA (Political, Economic, Religious, Social, Intellectual, and Artistic) chart for every chapter you read. It helps with essay writing and generally with organising the material. I would love to grade any of your essays (no charge, I just do it as a part of my routine) and answer questions. I can be contacted on board or through my email: orel@harari.edu.pl.
  21. Got an invite today to try a website called http://learnerator.com. They have their hundreds of questions for each exam, and most of them are free. Didn't take a deep look yet, but APWH questions on this website looks more difficult than those on the 2013 International Exam...
  22. I'd like to submit an AP course syllabus to the college board because dd may take the AP CS exam next year, and I'd like to be in on their private forum. I have copies of their sample syllabi, and it all seems so daunting. At this point, dd has a fairly good grasp of Python already, so I'm thinking that she'll be focusing on translating what she knows into Java and filling in any gaps for the exam. She may or may not take an online class. I may or may not purchase one or several of the textbooks they suggest. Will it be better for me to describe my daughter's particular situation in detail? Or am I better off copying and pasting from the examples they provided? Frankly, I just want to get this over and done with minimal hassle. I hate the idea of working extra to create a more accurate syllabus when it is more likely to be rejected.
  23. Does anyone have experience with Derek Owens AP Calculus course? We're looking at his and Susan Gilleran's Calculus AB courses. Her class has substantial reviews on the PA Homeschoolers website, but I can't find much about Derek Owens' class. We've used Derek Owens for physics and math, and my kids love him, but AP classes require that the instructor "teach to the test" to some degree. We're wondering if he is successful in this regard and whether your AP exam experience with D. Owens was positive. Thanks!
  24. Ds is taking Thinkwell Chemistry this year - the regular college level class, not the AP class, since he is not taking the AP exam and also because, looking at the topics covered, the regular course covers more than the AP course. I know that without taking the AP exam score he won't be able to get AP credit at college, but I am wondering what to call the course on his transcript. Can I still call it AP Chemistry, since it covers the same topics, or should I call it Honors Chemistry or something else? The table from the Thinkwell FAQ page (http://www.thinkwellhomeschool.com/how-it-works) seems to indicate that AP high school chemistry is equivalent to the regular (college level) Thinkwell chemistry course. Thank you for helping me with my confusion!
  25. Would love to hear from any Florida residents who have students who have taken the online AP courses via FLVS. Specifically, did they prepare your child well? Were they very challenging? Moderately challenging? Did you feel they were useful, or could you have done the prep work on your own? What about comparisons to PA Homeschoolers (if you've done courses with them)? Thanks you!
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