Some info about 2016 Math and Science AP® Test results

In this month’s blog, we catalogue a bunch of tweets from Trevor Packer, the College Board’s Head of AP. These are really important tidbits of information for students taking an AP class in 2016/2017, who should consider where  students from the previous year tended to have trouble. Here is what Mr. Packer had to say, with tweets organized by course; students should look for their course, and take his remarks under advisement!

First, note this general remark:

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

AP Calculus AB

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 The AP Calculus AB data are in: students demonstrated stronger skills this year than last, achieving a higher % of 3s, 4s, & especially 5s.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 2016 AP Calculus AB results: 5: 24.4%; 4: 17.4%; 3: 17.6%; 2: 9.7%; 1: 30.9%. These don’t yet include the scores from outside North America.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 Among the AP Calc AB free-response questions, the highest mean score was on Q4 (slope field): http://spr.ly/6017BshFx

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 Many AP Calc AB students struggled with Q2, 3, & esp 5 (modeling volume / related rates), w/31% earning 0 pts on it: http://spr.ly/6014Bsh2i

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 11 students, out of 310,000, earned perfect scores of 108/108 points on this year’s AP Calculus AB Exam.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 Congrats to AP Calculus BC teachers & students: the strongest performance in years, so a significant growth in the % of students earning 5s.

AP Calculus BC

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 Congrats to AP Calculus BC teachers & students: the strongest performance in years, so a significant growth in the % of students earning 5s.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 2016 AP Calculus BC results: 5: 48.4%; 4: 15.5%; 3: 17.6%; 2: 5.9%; 1: 12.6%. These don’t yet include the scores from outside North America.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 Lowest mean score on AP Calc BC: Q6 (Taylor series); many also found Q2 (parametric particle motion) tough: http://spr.ly/6014Bt6zu

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 13 2 students, out of 125,000, earned perfect scores of 108/108 points possible on this year’s AP Calculus BC Exam.

AP Chemistry

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 Students have shown slightly stronger mastery of AP Chemistry this year than last year’s group did, increasing the % of 5s in particular.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 2016 AP Chemistry scores: 5: 9.7%; 4: 15.1%; 3: 27.5%; 2: 25.3%; 1: 22.4%. These do not yet include international & late exams.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 AP Chem MC questions: students generally scored best on Big Ideas 1&2, lowest on Big Idea 3 (transformation).

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 In the Free-Response section, AP Chemistry students performed best on Q5 (kinetics / gas laws: butadiene).

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 FRQ6 on equilibrium/stoichiometry (EDTA) stumped the majority of AP Chemistry students; 73% earned 0 points on it: http://spr.ly/6016Btung

AP Physics 1

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 While the exam was challenging for many, AP Physics 1 scores improved over last year: an increase of 2.3% in scores of 3+ in North America.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 2016 AP Physics 1 scores: 5: 4.3%; 4: 13.6%; 3: 21.3%; 2: 30.7%; 1: 30.1%.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 The AP Physics data don’t yet include international students, which typically boost AP Physics scores of 3+ by another % point or two.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 AP Physics 1: Multiple-choice questions on Science Practice 5 (Data Analysis & Evaluation) posed the greatest challenge to students.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 AP Physics 1: FRQ1 (rotation/forces) & Q5 (waves) scored lowest; half of students earned no more than 1 of 7 pts: http://spr.ly/6019Btp5B

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 1 AP Physics 1 student, out of ~150,000 scored so far, earned a perfect score of 80/80 pts on this year’s exam. No student had yet done so.

AP Physics 2

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 Despite a 25% growth in participation, AP Physics 2 scores increased significantly: scores of 3+ increased by 4.2 percentage pts over 2015.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 2016 AP Physics 2 scores: 5: 8.5%; 4: 16.7%; 3: 34.3%; 2: 32.3%; 1: 8.2%.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 AP Physics 2 students scored very well on the MC questions, particularly on BI5 (conservation laws); least well on BI6 (wave models/apps).

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 Fairly low scores on the four AP Physics 2 FRQs: 25%, 42%, 29%, and 33% were the average pts earned, in that order: http://spr.ly/6014BtnDO

AP Physics C Mechanics

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 Interesting pattern in AP Physics C: Mechanics this year: a shift in student performance to many more 5s, a few more 2s, & fewer 3s, 4s, 1s.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 AP Physics: Mechanics scores: 5: 30.2%; 4: 27.4%; 3: 18.5%; 2: 13.9%; 1: 10%.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 AP Physics C: Mech students generally did very well on FRQ1 (Newton’s laws; kinematics), > than a fourth of them earning most of the pts.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 Many AP Physics C Mech students struggled w/FRQ3 (rotation; energy; Newton’s laws), a third of them earning no more than 1 point.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 15 1 student, out of 53,000, earned a perfect score of 90/90 pts on this year’s AP Physics C: Mechanics exam.

AP Physics C, Electricity and Magnetism

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 16 Usually, we don’t see so much score improvement from year to year; trend continues w/Physics C:E&M: a significant boost in %5s over 2015.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 16 2016 AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism scores: 5: 32%; 4: 22.6%; 3: 13.5%; 2: 19.3%; 1: 12.6%.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 16 AP Physics C: Elec & Mag scores were highest on this FRQ2 (circuits): http://spr.ly/6016Btb8j

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 16 The majority of AP Physics C: E&M students struggled with FRQ3 (magnetostatics), with 60% earning 3 or fewer pts (out of 15) on it.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 16 1 student, out of 27,000, earned all 90/90 points possible on this year’s AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism exam.

AP Statistics

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 21 Nice work: students taking AP Statistics this year demonstrated stronger mastery overall, so there’s a solid increase in the % earning 3+.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 21 2016 AP Statistics scores: 5: 13.9%; 4: 21.7%; 3: 24.7%; 2: 15.7%; 1: 24%.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 21 The AP Statistics MC questions on probability/simulation were the most challenging for many students. Most students got <5 of 10 right.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 21 Similarly, the AP Statistics FRQ4 (probability/simulation) was most difficult, w/ ~half of students earning 0/4 pts: http://spr.ly/6019BQEx5

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 21 The AP Statistics free-response questions’ mean/max scores: Q1: 43%, Q2: 31%; Q3: 39%; Q4: 25%; Q5: 32%; Q6: 40%.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 21 1 student, out of ~200,000, has earned a perfect score of 100/100 points possible on this year’s AP Statistics exam.

AP Biology

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 23 2016 AP Biology scores: 5: 6.3%; 4: 20.6%; 3: 33.6%; 2: 29.2%; 1: 10.3%

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 23 Good predictor of whether you scored high on this year’s AP Bio exam is how well you did on Q4 (gene expression): http://spr.ly/6011BQea5

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 23 AP Biology multiple-choice: students scored very well on Big Idea 2 (cellular processes), and least well on Science Prac 2 (using math).

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 23 AP Biology grid-ins that require mathematical calculation: students performed quite poorly: more than 50% earned 0 or 1 pt out of 5.

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 23 AP Biology free-response: best performance was on Q1 (allele frequencies), followed by Q5 (obligate mutualism).

Trevor Packer ‏@AP_Trevor  Jun 23 AP Biology free-response: poor performance on Q7 (chromosomal inheritance; ~66% earned 0 pts) & Q8 (effect of exercise; ~50% earned 0 pts).

We should conclude by noting that in addition to this information posted by the actual head of the AP program, a whole lot of information about each AP test is available on the College Board site for each specific course, and students should refer to these throughout the year. See for example the “Big Ideas”, listed here http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-chemistry-course-and-exam-description.pdf Every course has an analogous description and it is likely beneficial to study the course outline notes if they are made by the same people writing, and grading, your tests. Cheers!

Good luck! Be sure to give us a shout if you have any questions.

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