Jump to content

Menu

AP Exam Misses - Why & What you learned?


Recommended Posts

This is a sensitive one. Here on the WTM boards, we here all about everybody's successes. Their AP exam 4's & 5's. But I'm sure there are plenty of 1's, 2's, and 3's (passing so a good thing) as well. I don't need to know details - like my kid got a # on such-and-such exam. I don't want anybody to be laid bare. But it'd be nice to hear from some who performed less than what they had hoped - and maybe the reasons why and what they would do differently. Give my ds some BTDT advice on just how important it is to buckle down these next 2-3 weeks to get it done.

 

My ds is studying for his first 3 AP exams. I want to teach him good study skills and that he's not anywhere near guaranteed a 4 or 5 unless he puts the work in.

 

Would any others that have BTDT be able to expound with?

 

Like: My dc did not perform as they had hoped on such-and-such AP exam - because they did not.... Any particular reason? I'm hoping to see some real responses from others who tell me what they did that didn't work (or did not do) and what they now have learned going forward.

 

Make sense?

 

It's something I feel would be valuable for my ds to read, coming straight from others' experiences, instead of just me saying it. 

 

If too sensitive, I understand. But I always find it invaluable to read others who perform less than expected and the reasons why. It lets you know what you need to do going forward.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Following.

 

I hope you get some good advice. No one should feel ashamed for responding. Not everyone here has children that are uber-smart, super successful, perfect at everything they do all the time. And that is ok. I am guessing most of us have children that are average and some of us have outliers.

Edited by SJ.
  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a sensitive one. Here on the WTM boards, we here all about everybody's successes. Their AP exam 4's & 5's. But I'm sure there are plenty of 1's, 2's, and 3's (passing so a good thing) as well. I don't need to know details - like my kid got a # on such-and-such exam. I don't want anybody to be laid bare. But it'd be nice to hear from some who performed less than what they had hoped - and maybe the reasons why and what they would do differently. Give my ds some BTDT advice on just how important it is to buckle down these next 2-3 weeks to get it done.

 

My ds is studying for his first 3 AP exams. I want to teach him good study skills and that he's not anywhere near guaranteed a 4 or 5 unless he puts the work in.

 

Would any others that have BTDT be able to expound with?

 

Like: My dc did not perform as they had hoped on such-and-such AP exam - because they did not.... Any particular reason? I'm hoping to see some real responses from others who tell me what they did that didn't work (or did not do) and what they now have learned going forward.

 

Make sense?

 

It's something I feel would be valuable for my ds to read, coming straight from others' experiences, instead of just me saying it. 

 

If too sensitive, I understand. But I always find it invaluable to read others who perform less than expected and the reasons why. It lets you know what you need to do going forward.

If your son is taking any of the science or math exams, it is really important to make sure he knows to show all of his work.  It is possible to get an extremely low score on a FRQ even though the student arrived at the correct answer if the student does the intermediate steps in his head rather than writing them down for a grader to see.

 

I found it very worthwhile for my kids to take some practice FRQ's and then go through the grading rubrics together so they could understand the level of detail that they needed to write down in their solutions.  It was one thing for me to say "show your work" and quite another for them to see that what they told me was "obvious and not worth writing down" was costing them points on the FRQs

 

Good luck.  We are in the midst of AP prep in my house, too.  Oh, what fun times. :svengo:  

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to hear, too.  Ds is studying for 2. One is the dreaded Physics 1 test and we are just not confident that he will do well.  He is putting time in, but probably not enough.  I promise to post for you if he doesn't pass.  The other is English Language and whether he passes will be a complete mind game.  He is capable, but tends to freeze under pressure still during the essay practice. That's not something we can control except to work on anxiety management skills (which we are).

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Good luck.  We are in the midst of AP prep in my house, too.  Oh, what fun times. :svengo:  

 

Fun times, indeed!   :zombiechase:

 

Mirabillis, thanks for starting the thread. This is only our second year of AP's, so no real help to offer.  Following!

 

AP exams always seem like a brilliant idea until the last two weeks in April and the first two weeks in May...

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

We are studying AP Human Geo / AP Govt / AP Computer Science.

 

We are working our way through the Prep books, working on past FRQs, taking lots of practice exams. Not feeling good with first pass of any of the practice exams MCs... 

 

Just like to hear more BTDT advice. i think it will help him.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Following.

 

I hope you get some good advice. No one should feel ashamed for responding. Not everyone here has children that are uber-smart, super successful, perfect at everything they do all the time. And that is ok. I am guessing most of us have children that are average and some of us have outliers.

 

And I think you can have uber-smart, above average kids but still not do great at AP exams for any number of reasons. I don't think AP exam performance directly correlates with your intelligence - I think it's other reasons. That's what I'm looking for. Advice to help propel us in the right direction.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhere online--sorry I can;t remember where--there's a calculator thing where you can play around with MC and FR numbers and see what the final score will be.  It has been helpful here to see that a strong MC score allows a weaker FR answer.  You don't have to nail the whole test.  In fact, the percentage you need to pass is much lower than I would expect for the tests I've looked at.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll tell you about my experience - granted, it was almost 30 years ago, but maybe it will help. I always did great in public high school - pretty much straight A's without a lot of studying. I took several AP classes - European History, Calculus, and 2 others that I don't recall offhand.

 

I got 1s and 2s on all of them. I didn't study AT ALL for them. I just thought I'd pass them and I didn't take any of it seriously. Clearly, that attitude didn't work out so well!!!

 

I went on to graduate with Honors from college and I currently teach college math. So while the scores were disappointing, all was not lost. I do wish I had taken the whole thing much more seriously. If I had passed the tests, I wouldn't have had to retake the classes in college and PAY for them!!!

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea why my dd did so badly on her APUSH exam. She studied, had a great teacher, and even felt confident after the exam. She also enjoyed studying APUSH. 

She hated APLIT, disliked her class, did not study nor prepare for the exam as much as she did for APUSH and did so much better on the exam. 

 

This year we are doing dual enrollment and AP Calc with Derek Owens. BUT she is doing the CLEP exam instead. She has a huge commitment the night before the AP Calc exam so we decided after last year, it was not worth the stress. 

 

Probably not the response you were looking for as there is nothing scientific here nor anything to really learn from our experience except that sometimes, kids just lack something when it comes to testing...

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had my ds take one AP in 8th grade (US Govt) just to get the hang of it. He did not take a class. I helped him prepare for the test by scheduling it, getting the materials, reading along and reviewing it with him. He got a 3 on the exam which I felt was good given his age and our inexperience with the tests. Last year, he retook the exam and got a 5. You can delete previous scores from your record if you get a better score. I believe the main problem initially was on the Free Response Questions. He had a tendency to provide very short responses with little elaboration. Second time around, we really worked on writing longer more detailed responses and throwing in as much additional information as possible as there is no penalty for incorrect or irrelevant data.

 

Ideally, I think all new material should be completed three to four weeks before the test. This gives lots of time for review. It is also important to do as many practice exams as possible. Review the course outline throughout the course to help you focus your time appropriately. The outline usually gives a % for each topic so don't spend 20% of your time on a topic that is only 5% of the test. This is important because textbooks often allocate the same amount of coverage to each topic and that may not be consistent with the test.

 

Some of the exams such as the History ones have very specific rubrics so it's vital that your student understand these rubrics and be able to respond to them appropriately. For example, they have a document based question (DBQ) that provides 7 documents to be used in crafting an essay response. The student must use at least 6 of the documents to get credit. No partial credit for 5 or fewer. So it's really important to understand the specifics. The College Board provides access to all previous Free Response and Essay Questions on their website. Go over as many of these as possible. 

 

It's also really beneficial if you can do targeted practice review in the test format along the way. Many teachers of actual classes will do this by sprinkling essay questions or multiple choice throughout the year.  Some textbooks include questions already formatted in AP style for each chapter (ex. Econ for AP by Krugman, Practice of Stat for AP by Starnes, etc.) which is helpful. Doing full practice tests under simulated conditions is critical. Some exams have a lot of practice tests available and others much less. If you are self studying, I would discourage doing any exam which has been revised in the current or previous year as it's hard to get reliable practice information.  

 

Usually one practice test is available from the College Board. Additional ones can be found by googling. If you have your course syllabus approved by the College Board, you will have access to one secured test not available online.

 

Review books can be helpful for consolidating knowledge and providing additional practice material. The best review books vary by test - check out College Confidential, Reddit, or high school syllabi to see what's recommended for each course. In addition, there are usually youtube review videos, review packets and/or textbook outlines for each course that can be found by googling.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Total side note here, but in case of an AP "miss", if your student is a decent self-studier and test taker, you might consider going over the CLEP booklet for the CLEP test similar to the disappointing AP, study, and take the CLEP in the summer for possible college credit.

 

Another option for some classes (like the foreign languages) might be to go on and take the local community college placement assessment, and then take 1-2 semesters of dual enrollment after having studied for/taken AP in the language to keep building on it and earn college credit.

 

My hat off to all of you doing AP! It's not an easy option, and it's not an option that was workable for either of our DSs, so I commend those of you who are doing it! Good luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this but I was wondering if anyone can tell me a little about answering the DBQ sections. I know they have to mention all or almost all of the supplied documents. Is the best way to do this by saying for example - "Document 1 says ..." or is it better not to reference them as Doc 1, Doc 2 etc and rather use the title or author -  like " the excerpt from Common Sense supports ..."? Or does it make any difference and I am overthinking it lol?!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We are studying AP Human Geo / AP Govt / AP Computer Science.

 

We are working our way through the Prep books, working on past FRQs, taking lots of practice exams. Not feeling good with first pass of any of the practice exams MCs... 

 

Just like to hear more BTDT advice. i think it will help him.

 

The part in bold is actually not that unusual when you start the review process. Keep drilling.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you swimmermom!!!

 

We are studying hard. My plan is to have him get through Princeton Review Human Geo (he has 3 chapters left - 1 per week). Then take Albert.io practice quizzes to reinforce facts. Practice exams and FRQs each week. Read Princeton Review AP Govt - he's reading 1 chapter per day. We are 3 chapters in. Take practice exams and practice 1 FRQ per day. We've also found some hour-long 'AP Review' Youtube videos Cram for the Exam videos he will be watching for that too. AP Comp - he's got a prep book - and we're working on FRQs, 1 question per day. That's the goal - I'm sure we'll fall short, but we are trying.

 

And thanks for the tip on having practice tests available for approved syllabi. We have an approved AP Govt syllabus - I did not know this. I will get that for him!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this but I was wondering if anyone can tell me a little about answering the DBQ sections. I know they have to mention all or almost all of the supplied documents. Is the best way to do this by saying for example - "Document 1 says ..." or is it better not to reference them as Doc 1, Doc 2 etc and rather use the title or author -  like " the excerpt from Common Sense supports ..."? Or does it make any difference and I am overthinking it lol?!

 

My understanding is the ideal way to include the documents is to allude to the main message or thrust of the document rather than to reference it directly. The document number should then be placed in parentheses after the allusion much like a footnote or citation. If there is a particularly pertinent phrase or sentence, you might quote it but generally it's not necessary to quote directly from the documents. 

 

For example, let's say Document 2 is a photo of an 80 year old African American WWII veteran receiving a  Medal of Honor in 1995.  You might write "While African American soldiers served valiantly in World War II, it would be many decades before society fully recognized the scope of their contributions (Doc 2)."   

 

While the above is the ideal, I think you could still get a point if you present the information more directly. (Ex "The photograph in Document 2 shows us ....") as long as it provides evidence to support the thesis. 

 

There are many good videos on youtube regarding the DBQ and LEQ. 

 

Here's a good series on DBQ in general (not specfic to AP). 

 

Here's a good series at Khan Academy reviewing the different kinds of questions with specific examples.

 

You can find many more videos on youtube by googling "write dbq", "redesigned dbq", "how to dbq", etc.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the responses, so this may be a repeat. I do think prep for the exam, apart from simply completing the corresponding class, is helpful in getting a 4 or 5. Instruction varies, and using the prep book help fills any holes that the class may have left. The exceptions may be AP Lit and AP Lang. Those are difficult to prep for and an excellent class is worth its weight in gold there.

 

That said, the only exam my daughter did not get a 5 on was Chinese Language and Culture; she got a 3 there. Though she had taken Mandarin for several years, and did prep for the exam, her speaking and listening was just too weak. I'm not sure what could have been done differently. She just wasn't ready (prepping for and doing the AP exam was a quick fix to the senior year schedule when her university Chinese class was cancelled for spring.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep - we have one here.  DD15 got a "1" on the AP Calc AB test last spring, in spite of really having the material nailed.  Not sure these lessons will be helpful, but here is what we learned:

 

1 - Don't catch the flu right before the test.  After the test, I took her to the urgent care clinic - positive for influenza

2 - Don't fly 3000 miles the day before the test, arriving in at 11pm the night before.

 

Jet Lag plus 102F fever pretty much put the nail in the coffin.  DD15 was a mess. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one that can't be avoided, but might be prepared for.  It has to do with stress of administration.  Ds had Chem down and was getting 5's on all of the tests at home, even though they were long and he got tired.  But we didn't prepare for all of the time spent in administration: the 45 minutes early they had to arrive and check-in, the long time they spent reading the directions which was huge because the Chem test had four sections with lengthy directions, the "problems" the test site had which added another delay, etc. And then the stress of not knowing that he couldn't get into his bag between sections and he should have had his snack in a clear bag on the table.  He was completely out of brain power and blood sugar half-way through.  I arrived on time for pickup and had to wait more than an hour and a half.  They had already moved the next test to another room.

 

In hindsight, he should have taken the sample tests under much more stressful circumstances and we should have verified the food policy.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

My dd took AP Psychology in 8th grade. The class was taught by a friend who had taught at the college level before. They seemed to do a fair amount of review and practice FRQs in the class so I didn't worry too much about prep with her. She ended up getting a 3, which I thought was really good given her age. She was really disappointed. I would say the lesson learned is to do more practice exams on your own, even if some are done in class. I'm sure she would have done better if she had done more prep.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It may help your kid to realize they can miss several multiple choice questions and still do well. In other words, they should not get flustered by questions they can't answer.

 

Also the level for the frq writings is not a polished and revised essay.  It is a strong rough draft with all of the scoring components present.

 

Students should be familiar with the scoring rubric.  I really encourage them to go over some of the sample frq answers with the score sheet.

 

If you search for "AP [name of test] free response] you should get the exam page on AP Central as one of the results.  This will have info on the length of the exam, how many multiple choice, how much free response and how much each frq is worth.  

 

It will also have previous free response items, along with sample responses from actual test takers.  The samples have commentary about why each response earned strong points or fell short.  I also recommend the Student Q&A section, which gives broader commentary about where students tend to go astray.  

This is the Exam page for Microeconomics.  http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/2084.html

 

A couple frq practice techniques we used for history and the English lit exam.

Go through a couple frq's and the sample responses.  Try to grade them according to the score sheet.  Then compare with the actual score and the commentary.  I thought this helped my kids understand what was enough and where they needed to be more explicit.

 

Thesis practice.  I would give them a dbq packet and allow them the standard reading period time.  At the end of that time, they had to have a thesis written and the documents sorted out into groups of supporting evidence.  We would critique the thesis to see if it answered the prompt.  Frequently the prompt will have 2-3 parts and you don't want to fail to answer part of it.  We would also discuss what they would take from the evidence as support.  They didn't try to write the full essay, just a strong thesis and a rough outline of what they would do next.  This allowed us to go through many dbq's and identify areas of weakness.  [For recently revised exams, you can still use old dbq packets, but use the new scoring guidelines to prompt them through the planning process.]

 

For the English Lit exam, long essay, I found a list of many decades worth of essay questions.  DS had to come up with a work to use for the prompt and a thesis statement.  We often did this in the car when I was driving him to classes.  He would read the prompt and we would both try to come up with a work to use and say what aspect of the book we would write about.  List of previous English Lit prompts  https://mseffie.com/AP/Open_Questions.pdf

 

 

For exams that have free response sections that don't require an essay, we would do a lot of them out loud.  One of my favorites was the Comparative Government test, where you will typically get a question that makes you discuss how two different countries would deal with an issue.  For example, how would Mexico and China respond to environmental issues or how would the UK and Russia react to protests from an opposition party.  The other big prep they did for Comp Gov was to read a lot of articles from the previous year of The Economist.  We had big packets of articles, sorted by country.  This gave them a lot of evidence to draw from when discussing things like political parties or economic crisis.  

Also, do not miss the course home page for each AP course.  There is often a link to the Classroom Resources, which may contain special supplements like explanations of the key points of a crucial UK election or a country profile for Russia or a special focus packet on markets.  Good stuff.  http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/228639.html

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and a lessons learned.  Make sure your kids know where they are meeting you after the exam.  At dss' first exam, the guidance counselor said they could wait next to the fountain by the parking lot.  Unfortunately, none of us realized that there were two fountains, each next to a parking lot on opposite ends of campus.  It took over an hour for us to hook up.

 

Ask if they can leave a cell phone somewhere.  Even though they are not allowed in the test, many proctors have a box and collect them. I've also had guidance counselors or AP coordinators who let them leave phones in their offices so they could let me know when they were done with the exam.

 

Stay calm.  Weird things can happen.  We had wild fires break out during our first ever exam.  Within a day, they were so bad that their second exam was cancelled because school was cancelled to allow for evacuations and because the high school was being used as an emergency shelter.  They took the exam a week later during the make up week.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Let them know ahead of time that the course is being taken for two reasons.  One, to get the credit if they do well on the test.  But just as important, if not more so, is, two, that they learn the material in the course.  My dd did AP Lang, which got her out of two English classes, so she will have no college-level English.  So the fact that the actual coursework was really, really good is important - because she may never take another English class ever, but she good a good solid foundation in Lang and writing.  I'm glad she got the credit, but I'm more glad she got the knowledge and the skills.  

 

Also, if it won't create more anxiety, talk through various things that could happen.  I don't know the rules for pointing out a problem mid-test; might be worth looking up just so the student is aware.  In dd's case, there was a testing anomaly where they got 15 minutes less time than they should have on an essay section.  Some of the kids were aware that they were getting less time than they were supposed to have, which stressed them out during the exam.  In the end, we got a choice between nixing the score as if the test had never been taken, re-taking the exam at an unknown date (the new score would be the one that counted, regardless of what the old score was, and they would not tell us the old score, nor could anyone tell us the testing date (and we were going on vacation - no way to check the dates)), or keeping the (unknown) score.  I was NOT happy with these choices; we ended up keeping the score - it is reported with a note that there was an anomaly, but that doesn't really help anything as colleges don't know what the student would have scored without it, and thus won't award credit if the score is below their cut-off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's mine from way too long ago. If you have severe bronchitis, stay home. You're probably not going to do well on the tests, and you'll just make yourself a lot sicker. I felt guilty about not taking the tests since I had a scribe for them, so I pushed my way through it, but in 20/20 hindsight, that was a mistake.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This may sound very silly...

But have your student practice writing his or her timed essays in pen not pencil. My son did not realize that he had to write in pen until the night before the AP Eng Lang exam, and he absolutely panicked. He had written multiple practice essays in pencil--with which he could obviously change words or even whole sentences as needed. Writing in pen is a whole different ballgame. 

 

In fact, handwriting itself is stressful for many kids. My son is a very neat, slow, methodical handwriter...his print looks almost like a computer printer. He abhors writing in cursive. So there you are. Printing like a printer takes ages of time...of which you really have NONE. lol!

 

So practice neatly speedwriting in pen. :-)

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

So many of you are emphasizing exam prep. I always assumed exam prep was built into AP classes. If we (in time) gonwith PAH AP courses, we need to drill in addition to what is taught in those courses?

 

It's built into the AP Eng Lang class ds is doing with PAH.  He is doing another AP online class and it is included, but not as organized.  I would say most online classes do have it built in.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll weigh in. I have two who have gone through the AP saga. One didn't do well in APUSH and AP chemistry the first time and the main reason was lack of preparation. We didn't go through the prep books or practice past questions so we were not surprised when the results came in. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

So many of you are emphasizing exam prep. I always assumed exam prep was built into AP classes. If we (in time) gonwith PAH AP courses, we need to drill in addition to what is taught in those courses?

 

AP Lang and AP Lit through PAH will not require additional prep. I do suggest a prep book for some other topics if a 5 is the goal (a 5 does not have to be the goal.)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

AP Lang and AP Lit through PAH will not require additional prep. I do suggest a prep book for some other topics if a 5 is the goal (a 5 does not have to be the goal.)

What about AP Chem, AP Comp sci, AP Calc, and AP Physics C at PAH? Edited by Roadrunner
Link to post
Share on other sites

This may sound very silly...

But have your student practice writing his or her timed essays in pen not pencil. My son did not realize that he had to write in pen until the night before the AP Eng Lang exam, and he absolutely panicked. He had written multiple practice essays in pencil--with which he could obviously change words or even whole sentences as needed. Writing in pen is a whole different ballgame. 

 

In fact, handwriting itself is stressful for many kids. My son is a very neat, slow, methodical handwriter...his print looks almost like a computer printer. He abhors writing in cursive. So there you are. Printing like a printer takes ages of time...of which you really have NONE. lol!

 

So practice neatly speedwriting in pen. :-)

 

Dd did say that the graders are to ignore anything that is crossed out on the exam.  Writing with pen still adds to the stress, but there is some room for editing.  

 

Maybe someone can confirm, but my dd tells me that students can use pencil on the exam, but that pen is recommended because the writing might appear faded when the document is scanned.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

My original plan (or hope might be more accurate) was to have dd (9th grade) take 2 AP exams this year. Along the way, I realized she was learning quite a bit, but not at AP level.  And that was good enough for me.

 

She did voluntarily take an AP Env. Sci. diagnostic test, and it wasn't passable.  We talked about possibly having her study test-specific next year, but I'm leaving it up to her.  She doesn't find testing to be a motivator. She has a lot of interests, but doesn't have her sights set on any specific colleges or majors at this point.  And that's okay by me, too.

 

I can't see myself pushing APs on my kids unless/until maybe they're hitting at least 3s on practice tests, because then I figure it's worth carving out some extra time to build up the weak spots.  Unless it's their own motivation driving them, in which case I'll support them in whatever way I can.  Otherwise, there are plenty of other interesting, useful, enjoyable things to do instead.

 

Signed,
A mom who wants happy, functional kids and views high achievement as icing, not the cake.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thank you!  This was very helpful.  My daughter has been beside herself all day after not doing as well on her diagnostic practice test for the AP US Gov test as she thought she should have.  With this site I was able to show her that she probably would have gotten a 3, and that she still has time to practice the exam format. I think now she will be able to breathe and move forward with a better attitude instead of feeling defeated.  

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! This was very helpful. My daughter has been beside herself all day after not doing as well on her diagnostic practice test for the AP US Gov test as she thought she should have. With this site I was able to show her that she probably would have gotten a 3, and that she still has time to practice the exam format. I think now she will be able to breathe and move forward with a better attitude instead of feeling defeated.

That's how I am using it with my son. Telling him that I don't care about his score as long as he put in prep time didn't work, seeing how far from perfect he had to be took away a ton of anxiety.
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I still cringe at my son's experience...  so we paid for two AP Classes (Chem and Latin) through asynchronous providers.  He did not pass.  He took a psychology class (not AP at all or even close), did no prep, and got a 3.  He did no prep for AP Lang (in spite of his mother's pleas) nor did he take the class and got a 5.  Go figure...

 

Now as an AP teacher, my advice to students who listen (i.e. apparently not those to whom I am related...  :lol: ) is to work practice tests under as near test conditions as possible.  The College Board has full length practice tests available.  Simulate test day in your home.  Begin at 8:00am.  Go through the script of laborious instructions.  Time them.  Give them only the allotted breaks, etc.  Try to work as many practice tests as you can. Patterns will start to emerge.

 

Also, the scores are scaled.  For ex.  The max points on the AP Calc AB is 108.   The most recent cutoff for a 5 was a 67 (the cut off changes slightly from year to year).  The 108 comes from multiplying the 45 MC by 1.2 and adding it to the 54 FRQ points.  So yes, you can "fail" and get a 5.

Edited by annabanana1992
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

What about AP Chem, AP Comp sci, AP Calc, and AP Physics C at PAH?

 

I asked my daughter about PAH Comp Sci. She says to the best of her recollection that they prepped pretty hard in class and she does not recall needing much additional. She got a 5 on the exam. She did AP Calc AB with Derek Owens. She did prep for that. She did not do the AP Chem or Physics exams; she did those SAT subject tests though, and did prep for those.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oldest ds completed both Apologia Chemistry books with an A average, and I believed their statement that he would then be prepared for the Chemistry exam. He only got a 3, which was not enough to get him credit at his univ. We switched to Zumdahl for our younger dc with much better results. We also got our syllabus approved for the new AP Chem which got us access to several good practice exams.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!  This was very helpful.  My daughter has been beside herself all day after not doing as well on her diagnostic practice test for the AP US Gov test as she thought she should have.  With this site I was able to show her that she probably would have gotten a 3, and that she still has time to practice the exam format. I think now she will be able to breathe and move forward with a better attitude instead of feeling defeated.  

 yes we have found this site invaluable. we're used to 90-100% correct - the practice tests are a whole new ballgame.

 

as for test prep, we are doing major test prep. i just hope it's enough. we're shooting for a 4 or 5 on all. once you take your first practice exam, i think you realize you need test prep (except for those select few classes that drill the test prep in the weeks leading up to the exam, which i think is the exception not the norm). so keep that in mind signing up for APs.... it's a tall order in these last weeks of april/early may. i'm having my son give up most of his weekends to study & prepare.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is good for the students to read the course descriptions on the collegeboard site to see if they are covering everything that is supposed to cover.

 

So many classes do not cover everything and rush the last few weeks so it is good to know where you are in the class and start prepping.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe someone can confirm, but my dd tells me that students can use pencil on the exam, but that pen is recommended because the writing might appear faded when the document is scanned.

I thought all the FRQ are in pen only but apparently it depends on the exam. Proctors are supposed to have spare pencils and pens.

 

AP Biology "Writing Instrument: Pen with black or dark blue ink" https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-exam-instructions-biology.pdf

AP Calculus AB/BC "Writing Instrument: Either pencil or pen with black or dark blue ink" https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-exam-instructions-calculus-ab-bc.pdf

AP Chemistry "Writing Instrument: Either pencil or pen with black or dark blue ink" https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-exam-instructions-chemistry.pdf

AP Computer Science A "Writing Instrument: Pencil required" https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-exam-instructions-computer-science-a.pdf

AP English Language and Composition Exam "Writing Instrument: Pen with black or dark blue ink" https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-exam-instructions-english-language-and-composition.pdf

AP Physics C: Mechanics "Writing Instrument: Pencil required" https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-exam-instructions-physics-c-mechanics.pdf

AP US History "Writing Instrument: Pen with black or dark blue ink" https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-exam-instructions-united-states-history.pdf

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some what tangent - I received an email from the CB saying that we could pick colleges to send the scores in May (but of course we won't get those until July). So if we wait until we see the scores do we have to pay for each score sent to a college?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some what tangent - I received an email from the CB saying that we could pick colleges to send the scores in May (but of course we won't get those until July). So if we wait until we see the scores do we have to pay for each score sent to a college?

Yes, you'd pay later to send scores.

 

However, AP scores are self-reported on college applications. There is no need to send scores until the summer after senior year. If the student takes even one AP exam senior year and selects a college to receive the scores, all of the AP scores from the student's testing history will be sent :D

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

It may help your kid to realize they can miss several multiple choice questions and still do well. In other words, they should not get flustered by questions they can't answer.

 

Also the level for the frq writings is not a polished and revised essay.  It is a strong rough draft with all of the scoring components present.

 

Students should be familiar with the scoring rubric.  I really encourage them to go over some of the sample frq answers with the score sheet.

 

If you search for "AP [name of test] free response] you should get the exam page on AP Central as one of the results.  This will have info on the length of the exam, how many multiple choice, how much free response and how much each frq is worth.  

 

It will also have previous free response items, along with sample responses from actual test takers.  The samples have commentary about why each response earned strong points or fell short.  I also recommend the Student Q&A section, which gives broader commentary about where students tend to go astray.  

This is the Exam page for Microeconomics.  http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/2084.html

 

A couple frq practice techniques we used for history and the English lit exam.

Go through a couple frq's and the sample responses.  Try to grade them according to the score sheet.  Then compare with the actual score and the commentary.  I thought this helped my kids understand what was enough and where they needed to be more explicit.

 

Thesis practice.  I would give them a dbq packet and allow them the standard reading period time.  At the end of that time, they had to have a thesis written and the documents sorted out into groups of supporting evidence.  We would critique the thesis to see if it answered the prompt.  Frequently the prompt will have 2-3 parts and you don't want to fail to answer part of it.  We would also discuss what they would take from the evidence as support.  They didn't try to write the full essay, just a strong thesis and a rough outline of what they would do next.  This allowed us to go through many dbq's and identify areas of weakness.  [For recently revised exams, you can still use old dbq packets, but use the new scoring guidelines to prompt them through the planning process.]

 

For the English Lit exam, long essay, I found a list of many decades worth of essay questions.  DS had to come up with a work to use for the prompt and a thesis statement.  We often did this in the car when I was driving him to classes.  He would read the prompt and we would both try to come up with a work to use and say what aspect of the book we would write about.  List of previous English Lit prompts  https://mseffie.com/AP/Open_Questions.pdf

 

 

For exams that have free response sections that don't require an essay, we would do a lot of them out loud.  One of my favorites was the Comparative Government test, where you will typically get a question that makes you discuss how two different countries would deal with an issue.  For example, how would Mexico and China respond to environmental issues or how would the UK and Russia react to protests from an opposition party.  The other big prep they did for Comp Gov was to read a lot of articles from the previous year of The Economist.  We had big packets of articles, sorted by country.  This gave them a lot of evidence to draw from when discussing things like political parties or economic crisis.  

Also, do not miss the course home page for each AP course.  There is often a link to the Classroom Resources, which may contain special supplements like explanations of the key points of a crucial UK election or a country profile for Russia or a special focus packet on markets.  Good stuff.  http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/228639.html

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree: :iagree: Everything here! Yes, just do it.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...