The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

AP Plans Grading, Curriculum Changes

This year, the Collegeboard will change the grading of AP exams so that students will not be penalized for guessing incorrectly on multiple choice questions. The raw score will be derived from the number of questions a student answers correctly.

Collegeboard has set new standards for several of its AP classes and plans to change the structure and grading of many of its tests. This decision will impact students who will be taking the AP test this coming May.

Specifically the AP exams in the science, world language and history departments will be impacted. The first tests that will be changed next year will be the AP French Language and Culture, AP German Language and Culture and AP World History.

The changes that the Collegeboard plans on implementing are intended to help the courses focus more on the students’ ability to think deeply.
“For the French test, [the students] will hear an audio sample and then reflect into it,” AP French teacher Christophe Barquissau said. “They have to look at their own cultures and other cultures, and then compare the two.”

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In particular, the AP Language courses will be changing how classes are taught. According to the Collegeboard website, instead of using textbooks, teachers are required to find authentic materials, such as articles and news reports, to incorporate the language and culture into the curriculum.

For the AP science classes, Collegeboard plans to change the tests because scientific discoveries and knowledge increase daily. Instead of focusing on broad knowledge, the new changes will focus a student’s attention on reasoning and experimentation.

According to Collegeboard, these changes should not significantly affect the scores of the students. The students’ own test-taking strategy might, however, be impacted by such modifications.

“It will help me, [because] I’m not good with multiple choice tests,” junior Nirav Agrawal said. “I think it’s a good decision overall.”
History teacher Gabriel Stewart agrees.

“Psychologically it will help a lot of students,” Stewart said. “Know your information and you will be rewarded.”
There are other students who do not feel the same way.

“You can guess and know absolutely nothing about the question and still not get penalized for it,” junior Carla Alonso said. “I don’t think that that’s the point of the test.”

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