Comments on: 2011 Computer Science AP Reading You don't understand something until you've taught a teenager to teach a computer to do it. Mon, 08 Apr 2013 04:47:39 +0000 hourly 1 By: Reading the AP « And Yet It Moves Reading the AP « And Yet It Moves Wed, 11 Jan 2012 22:20:36 +0000 [...] an invitation to read (that is, grade) the AP Computer Science exam in June. After reading about Helen’s experience last year and hearing Dr. Jody Paul, the chief reader, speak at the Grace Hopper conference in [...]

By: Hélène Martin Hélène Martin Fri, 24 Jun 2011 01:43:25 +0000 I completely agree that there are many reasons a kid might show up to an AP test unprepared… but I don’t like any of them! To me, AP makes sense if it’s pushing the most motivated students to dig deeply into a subject and providing teachers with curricular frameworks they are successful within. The most motivated students would not leave tests entirely blank and teachers comfortable with the existing frameworks would address the topics relevant to their AP-designated course so I feel uncomfortable with the way AP is being used.

In the case of your AP Chem course, for example, it’s possible that your teacher was great but didn’t agree with the approach the AP curriculum developers took. That’s great — s/he should have felt free to teach a rigorous course assessed in some other way.

By: Anton Anton Thu, 23 Jun 2011 00:01:33 +0000 I went to a very good public high school and took 7-10 AP classes/tests. Even within my one school there was a lot of variance in how well teachers prepared students for the tests. I remember AP Calc was all about the test and almost all students ended up taking it and doing well. In my AP Chem class, OTOH, my teacher dropped a huge packet on my desk 1 week before the test and told me “this is all the stuff we didn’t cover.” Needless to say, I didn’t do so hot.

I’m guessing there are a lot of causes as to why students show up unprepared for the AP test:
- they know they’re not prepared but are willing to give it a shot since there’s little downside (there’s no rule that says you have to report your tests to colleges, right?)
- their parents make them do it (no downside for the parents other than $80)
- it’s possible to ace the school’s AP class but bomb the AP test itself (my experience w/ chem)
- they simply don’t know they’re not prepared (I took the CS GRE only to find out I didn’t know CS. This was after years of acing every CS class I took in high school and college)