Some info about 2018 Math and Science AP® Test results

As we have done for the last several years after the AP results are in, we have catalogued tweets from Trevor Packer, the College Board® Head of AP, as pertain to results for AP math and science classes. This information is publicly available – we have simply organized it as pertaining to “STEM” classes.  These are really important tidbits of information for students taking an AP class in 2018/2019, who should consider where students from the 2017/18 year tended to have trouble. This is what Mr. Packer had to say, with tweets organized by course. Please also compare with our previous blogs from last 2 years, “Some info about 2016 AP® Test results” (link here) and “Some info about 2017 AP® Test results” (link here).

First, these general remarks from 2016 and 2017:
Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor June 12, 2017 When I report perfect scores, note that other perfect scores may emerge as late exams are scored, so the numbers are not final.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor June 13 2016 As a reminder, AP Exams aren’t graded on a curve. So when more students demonstrate mastery, the percentage of 3s,4s,5s increases.

Trevor Packer @AP_Trevor June 15, 2017 Students can check colleges’ and universities’ AP credit policies here, but should always confirm with the schools (Link Here).

Trevor Packer @AP_Trevor June 19, 2017 (1/2) For all AP exams, profs + psychometricians shift points needed up /down depending on difficulty of questions. (wikipedia: equating)

Trevor Packer @AP_Trevor June 19, 2017 (2/2) Thus any variations in exam difficulty=removed, so AP scores changes each yr reflect changes in student ability, not changes in rigor.

Trevor Packer @AP_Trevor June 22, 2017 This online community is where AP teachers discuss teaching strategies, share resources, and connect: Link Here

And some general remarks from 2018:
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 24 85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 30 Counselors: Find tips on counseling first-generation college students (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 7 The AP Potential tool helps educators open the world of AP to academically qualified students who may otherwise be overlooked (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 12 A few other hypotheses from teachers about why AP Env Sci scores are generally lower than other subjects’: students not taking standard pre-req high school Bio & Chem classes first; not focusing on the mathematics in a college-level environmental science class; too much content.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 19 There is still time to register for the AP Annual Conference in Houston, TX on 7/19-22. The Conference is your chance to connect with teachers of all 38 AP courses, AP Chief Readers, AP coordinators, and more (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 27 If you want to collaborate with AP teachers around the globe, the AP Teacher Community platform provides a great opportunity to share resources and discuss all things AP. Learn how to get started: link here

And now for remarks about this year’s exams:

AP Chemistry:
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 9 The 2018 #APChemistry free response questions are now available here.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 The 2018 AP Chemistry scores: 5: 12.6%; 4: 17.3%; 3: 25%; 2: 24.1%; 1: 21%. This is a pretty large increase in scores — the highest scores in the past 5 years – so very impressive work from this year’s AP Chemistry students.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 1 student, out of ~150,000 whose exams have been scored to date, earned all 100 out of 100 points possible on this year’s AP Chemistry exam.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 AP Chemistry multiple-choice: students generally scored very high on questions about Big Ideas 2 (structure & property relations) and 4 (kinetics), and least well on questions about Big Ideas 5 (thermodynamics) and 6 (equilibrium).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 To boost AP Chemistry scores further, concentrate on MC questions that assess using mathematics appropriately (SP2) and data collection/analysis (SP4), the two lowest scoring categories within the multiple-choice section.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 AP Chemistry FRQ7 – the final question on the exam – on photoelectron spectrum / radioactive decay — was the one students generally scored highest on. ~24% of AP Chemistry students earned all 4/4 points possible on it (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 AP Chemistry FRQ2 (equil / thermo / titration of weak acid) is the question that best differentiated between students earning 3s, 4s, and 5s. Such students generally earned 4+, 6+, and 8+ points, respectively, on this question (link here).

AP Physics 1
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 10 The 2018 #APPhysics1 free response questions are now available here.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 14 The 2018 AP Physics 1 scores: 5: 5.2%; 4: 15%; 3: 19.5%; 2: 29.1%; 1: 31.2%. Students this year were slightly weaker than last year, with fewer 3s, 4s, more 1s.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 14 Since AP Physics 1 is a first AP STEM course for many students, without a pre-requisite, we are piloting a free workbook to help students build the conceptual knowledge the exam requires.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 14 AP Physics 1 multiple-choice: students generally scored well wave models (Big Idea 6), and after several years of low scores on Practice 5 (data analysis) questions, students scored better this year, such that the lowest scores this year were on Practice 2 (use of math).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 14 AP Physics 1 students generally did very, very good work on FRQ1 (qual/quant translation, rotation); students getting a 3 or higher this year are usually getting at least 8/12 points possible on this question.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 14 By far the most difficult question for AP Physics 1 students this year was FRQ5, which required a paragraph of physics reasoning about amplitude of oscillation. 58% of students got 0/7 on it (link here).

AP Physics 2
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 11 The 2018 #APPhysics2 free response questions are now available here.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 The 2018 AP Physics 2 exam scores: 5: 11.2%; 4: 14.8%; 3: 34.9%; 2: 30.6%; 1: 8.5%.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 1 student, out of ~17,000 worldwide, earned all 80/80 points possible on the 2018 AP Physics 2 exam.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 Strong work throughout the multiple-choice section by AP Physics 2 students, particularly on Big Idea 3 (interactions between objects), the concept that most challenged the prior year’s students. Also, truly excellent performance on questions about practice 5 (data analysis).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 AP Physics 2 free-response questions: students scored best on FRQ3 (qual/quant translation). ~40% of students were able to earn 9-12 points out of 12 points possible on it (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 AP Physics 2 FRQ2 (experimental design; circuits) best suggests whether a student is getting a 5 this year. Such students were generally able to earn 9-10+ pts on it; it’s a difficult question, so students are able to earn 3s without many pts on it (FRQ Link here).

AP Biology
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 16 The 2018 #APBio free response questions are now available here.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 25 The 2018 AP Biology scores: 5: 7.1%; 4: 21.5%; 3: 32.9%; 2: 28.5%; 1: 10%. This year, there were more strong students, and more weak students – fewer in the middle. So all score categories expanded, in comparison to 2017, except 3s.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 25 AP Biology multiple-choice: students generally scored best on questions about Big Idea 4 (interactions) and least well on questions that required use of mathematics, including the grid-ins, where 35% of students scored 0/5 points.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 25 AP Biology students demonstrated a very strong understanding of species interactions, generally earning high scores on FRQ5 (symbiotic relationship between warblers and cuckoos). 30% of students earned all 4/4 points possible.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 25 AP Biology FRQ3 (investigating aquatic pollination) best differentiates between students getting 3s & those getting 2s. Students getting 3s are usually earning at least 3 of these 4 points (FRQ link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 25 AP Biology FRQ7 (investigating sex determination in fish) best distinguished between students getting 3s and those getting 5s. Students getting 5s are usually earning all 3 of these points (link here).

AP Physics C Mechanics
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 16 The 2018 #APPhysicsC Mechanics free response questions are now available here.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 The 2018 AP Physics C: Mechanics scores: 5: 28.6%; 4: 27.6%; 3: 20.5%. 2: 13.1%; 1: 10.2%. After last year’s highest-ever scores in the history of this exam, it’s not surprising that this year’s scores decline from that stratosphere. Still, the most frequent score remains a 5.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 1 student, out of ~45,000 worldwide, earned all 90/90 points possible on this year’s AP Physics C: Mechanics exam. (If you’re wondering what the “C” stands for, it’s “calculus-based.”)

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15Many AP Physics C: Mechanics students scored very high on FRQ1 (kinematics); on the flip side, 12% of students earned 0/15 points on the difficult FRQ3 (rotation & circular motion); link is here.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 AP Physics C: Mechanics FRQ2 (system of particles & linear momentum) has a spread of 15 points at nicely varying difficulties and is thus a good indicator of how students did on the exam overall. Students earning a 5 are generally getting at least 9 of the pts across these tasks.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 As in the free-response section, AP Physics C: Mechanics students scored best in the multiple-choice section on kinematics questions.

AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 16 The 2018 #APPhysicsC E&M free response questions are now available here:

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 The 2018 AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism scores: 5: 35%; 4: 23.1%; 3: 13.7%; 2: 17.3%; 1: 10.9%. Check out that percentage of 5s. I need to scan our archives to be sure, but that may be the highest ever for this exam. Congrats to students, kudos to teachers.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 1 student, out of 15,000 worldwide whose AP Physics C: E&M scores are in our system at this point, earned all 90/90 pts possible on this year’s exam. I wonder if (s)he is the same student who earned the 1 perfect score on C: Mechanics this year? Time will tell.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 AP Physics C: E&M multiple-choice performance: students generally scored best on questions about electric circuits, and least well on questions about magnetostatics and electromagnetism.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 To gauge whether you likely are scoring 3+ on this year’s AP Physics C: E&M exam, review your performance on FRQ2 on electric circuits. Students earning a 3+ are typically able to do more than half of these tasks (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 15 The biggest difference between students earning 5s vs 3s this year on AP Physics C:E&M was in the very difficult FRQ3 (magnetostatics); students earning a 5 were typically able to earn 5 more points on this question than students earning a 3 (link here).

AP Calculus AB
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 17 The 2018 #APCalcAB free response questions are now available here .

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 The 2018 AP Calculus AB scores: 5: 19%; 4: 17.3%; 3: 21.2%; 2: 22.4%; 1: 20.1%. Performance this year is very, very similar to last year, so we’re seeing very similar distributions of scores.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 AP Calculus AB generally scored well across all multiple-choice topics, although they scored somewhat less well on questions requiring them to estimate / determine integrals than on other topics.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 This year’s AP Calculus AB FRQ2 (particle motion) is a strong predictor of overall success on the exam; students able to score 4+ pts on it are generally getting a 3 or better; students able to score 7+ pts are usually getting a 5 (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 Many AP Calculus AB students really struggled with FRQs 4 & 5; ~20% of students got 0/9 points on FRQ4 (modeling/related rates), and ~26% got 0/9 points on FRQ5 (analysis of functions); link is here.

AP Calculus BC
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 17 The 2018 #APCalcBC free response questions are now available here .

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 The 2018 AP Calculus BC scores: 5: 40.3%; 4: 19%; 3: 21%; 2: 14.6%; 1: 5.1%. This is a smaller percentage of 5s than last year, because a smaller proportion of students hit the standards for a 5, but as you can see, this score distribution remains exceptional.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 1 student, out of ~60,000 worldwide, has earned all 108 out of 108 points possible on this year’s AP Calculus BC Exam. We’ll notify her / him in late summer / early fall when we receive that data file.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 AP Calculus BC multiple-choice: students scored much higher on questions about Big Ideas 2 (derivatives) & 3 (integrals & fundamental theorem), than on questions about Big Ideas 1 (limits) & 4 (series).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 AP Calculus BC free-response questions: students generally performed best on FRQ3 (graphical analysis of f’/FTC), with ~10% earning all 9/9 points possible; they generally performed least well on FRQ6 (Maclaurin series), with ~30% earning 0/9 (link here).

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 18 AP Calculus BC FRQ5 (polar area / tangent line) is very difficult, designed to distinguish between 3s, 4s, & 5s. Students getting 1s/2s can usually do nothing with it; to get a 3, students are usually earning >2 of the pts; to get a 4: >4 of the pts; to get a a 5: >6 of the pts

AP Computer Science A
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 17 The 2018 #APCSA free response questions are now available here .

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 13 The AP Computer Science A reading has finished, while the AP Computer Science Principles reading has just begun. Educators have continued to enable greater access to both of the AP computer science courses this year – approx 55% growth in AP CSP and 7% growth in AP CSA.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 13 The 2018 AP Computer Science A scores: 5: 24.7%; 4: 21.3%; 3: 21.7%; 2: 11.8%; 1: 20.5%. Very solid work here, the most frequent score a 5, and overall increases in scores of 3,4,5 compared to last year.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 13 166 AP Computer Science A students, out of 66,000 worldwide, earned perfect scores of all 80/80 points possible on this year’s exam. We’ll notify them and their schools in early fall after score reporting and all late exams are scored.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 13 The area where many AP Computer Science A students continue to struggle within the multiple-choice section is object-oriented programming, so more focus and practice on that topic will increase the number of 3,4,5s in future years.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 13 AP Computer Science A students generally continued to perform well on the FRQ about class design (#3), and also on the frog simulation question (FRQ1): link here

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 13 AP Computer Science A FRQ2 (ArrayList) was the most challenging this year, very effectively distinguishing students who qualify for a 5 from those who receive 4s,3s. Students earning a 5 overall are generally getting 8-9 of 9 pts possible on this question (link here).

AP Computer Science Principles
Trevor Packer Retweeted The College Board‏ Verified account @CollegeBoard Jun 13
NEW: The number of students taking the AP Computer Science Principles exam jumped over 50% in just one year. #APCSP link here

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 The 2018 AP Computer Science Principles scores: 5: 14.4%; 4: 21.6%; 3: 36.7%; 2: 19.7%; 1: 7.6%. These scores represent another banner year for AP CSP teachers/students; alongside AP Capstone, this was the fastest growing AP course this year, & the % of 4s,5s slightly increased.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 AP Computer Science Principles multiple-choice: students earned the highest average scores of any AP exam this year so far, scoring high across topics, esp “data & information” & “global impact.” Lowest-scoring topic: “algorithms” but overall performance = solid nonetheless.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 AP Computer Science Principles “Create” task: 11% of students earned all 8/8 pts possible; 19% earned 7 pts; 20%: 6 pts; 16%: 5 pts; 13%: 4 pts; 9%: 3 pts; 6%: 2 pts; 4%: 1 pts. 2%: 0 pts.

AP Statistics
Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor May 22 The 2018 #APStatistics free response questions are now available here .

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 The 2018 AP Statistics exam scores: 5: 14.1%; 4: 21.3%; 3: 25.2%; 2: 16.1%; 1: 23.3%. Congrats to these teachers and students – these increases in 3s, 4s, 5s are the result of stronger mastery of the material this year than last.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 1 student, out of ~200,000 worldwide whose exams are complete so far, earned all 100/100 points possible on this year’s AP Statistics exam. We’re hiring . . .

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 There’s no wider difference across multiple-choice topics than what we see in the AP Statistics exam. Students generally score very high on data, statistical inference, sampling & experimentation, but very low on probability/simulation.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 AP Statistics FRQ3 (probability / simulation) was easily the exam’s best question, distinguishing across the range of what students know and can do. Students earning 3s could answer part of the question, students earning 4 could answer most, and students earning 5s, all of it.

Trevor Packer‏ @AP_Trevor Jun 26 AP Statistics FRQ6 (statistical inference) was far too difficult for both college students and AP students, so even the cutscore to earn a 5 did not require any points on this problematic question.

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