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’s 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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