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2015 AP Exam Score Distributions

Total Registration has compiled the following scores from Tweets that the College Board's head of AP, Trevor Packer, has been making during June. These are preliminary breakdowns that may change slightly as late exams are scored.

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AP Score Distributions 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

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Exam 5 4 3 2 1 Date Tweeted Trevor's Comments
Computer Science A 24.4% 24.6% 15.3% 7.1% 28.6% June 25 Wow – massive gains in AP Computer Science participation (25% growth) AND scores this year; big increase in % of students earning 4s & 5s!
Count them: a whopping 66 AP Computer Science students out of 50,000 worldwide earned all 80 pts possible on this year’s exam. Remember that AP exam standards are equated from year to year, so when scores go up, it's a direct indication of increased student mastery.
Many AP Computer Science students did very well on Q1 (2D array processing–diverse array); >20% earned all 9/9 pts: spr.ly/6013BB5bz
The major gap in this year’s AP Computer Sci classrooms seems to be array list processing; Q3 (sparse array): 47% of students got 0/9 pts.
United States History 9.3% 17.8% 23.6% 25%

24.3%

June 18

Teachers report spending much more time this year on primary sources; students did well on multiple-choice, which all use sources.
Students scored very well on SAQ2 (Muir & T. Roosevelt, and scored least well on SAQ1 (Chesapeake & New England.
52% of APUSH students chose the 7 Years’ War essay topic; 48% chose the Mexican-American War; scores were generally higher on 7 Years’ War.
Many teachers reported that students were well prepared for the DBQ (rise of new conservatism from 1960-89): spr.ly/6013B6A11

Chemistry 8.4% 15.2% 28.1% 25.5% 22.8% June 26 3 AP Chemistry students (out of 150,000 worldwide) just became the first ever to achieve perfect scores of 100/100 on the redesigned exam.
students did superb work on Q5 (kinetics / bleach & food coloring); 25% earned all 4/4 pts possible. spr.ly/6011BBWMH
Many students found Q4 (KSP: calcium hydroxide) very tough; 22% got 0/4 pts on it.
European History 10.3% 17.4% 35.6% 10.6% 26.1% June 16 Great work from AP Euro History teachers/students, who improved the %3-5 in an AP course esp valued by many selective admissions offices.
Multiple-choice: Students did significantly better on earlier (Renaissance to 1815) than more recent (1816-present) topics.
Many students did well on what some thought would be a tough DBQ topic: French changes since 1960: spr.ly/6016B6SGY
Environmental Science 7.5% 24.1% 15.2% 25.5% 27.7% June 16

Low performance on free-response kept the %5s low.
Multiple-choice: Students tended to score well, esp on the 22 questions about “population” and “energy resources / consumption.”
Free-response: Students generally scored low on these, esp Q1 (water quantity/quality), w/30% of students earned 0-1 of 10 pts.

Human Geography 12.1% 20.5% 21.2% 16.8% 29.4% June 12

Kudos to AP Human Geography teachers, who expanded access this year and significantly improved scores: a higher % of 5s.
AP Human Geography students did especially well on FRQ2 on the “lingua franca”: spr.ly/6017B6dDx
Improve AP Hum Geo scores by helping students understand political redistricting. 30% of students got 0 pts on Q1: spr.ly/6017B6d3x

Physics 1 4.1% 12.8% 20% 30.2% 32.9% June 26 AP Physics 1 was a new AP course and exam this year, with nearly double the number of students who took AP Physics B last year.
Students generally scored best on Q4, projectile motion: spr.ly/6018BBYQa
Low avg scores on the AP Physics 1 free-response questions (32%, 27%, 22%, 39%, 23%) show why the % of 4s and 5s is small this first year.
College professors who tested the new AP Physics 1&2 exams w/their own students were very impressed w/ how the exams assessed understanding.
Physics 2 8.4% 14% 32.8% 34.9% 9.9% June 26 Many students demonstrated solid understanding of the ideal gas law and experimental design on Q3: spr.ly/6010BBlQu
More than 30% of the students were entirely stumped by Q1 (Snell’s Law), getting 0/10 pts: spr.ly/6019BBlQc
College professors who tested the new AP Physics 1&2 exams w/their own students were very impressed w/ how the exams assessed understanding.
Physics C Mech 27.5% 28.6% 20.7% 12.3% 10.9% June 17 6 students worldwide, out of 52,000, earned all 90 points possible on this year’s AP Physics C: Mechanics exam.
Students did great work on Q2 (Momentum/Energy/Kinematics); 3,400 of them earned 15/15 pts on it: spr.ly/6019B6L4b
Many students struggled with Q1 and esp Q3 (rotation), where >15% of students earned 0/15 pts: spr.ly/6019B6L4l
Physics C E&M 28.5% 24.9% 13.7% 19.8% 13.1% June 17  
Psychology 20.1%

26.2%

19.9% 13.1% 20.7% June 22 Nice work by AP Psychology teachers & students: ~20,000 more students gained access and scores improved (a higher % of 5s this year).
4 students (out of ~275,000 worldwide) earned all 150/150 points possible on this year's exam.
Students performed significantly better on Q1 (research methods) than Q2: secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalService…
English Literature and Composition 7.6% 18.2% 30.5% 32.6% 11.1% June 26 This AP course is offered in more high schools than any other.
As usual, students scored better on prose than poetry questions, and better on 20th/21st century texts than earlier ones.
The most frequent score on both the Walcott essay & the Erdrich essay was 4/9 points possible.
Many chose to write on Othello, but guess which other Shakespeare tragedy, not on the suggested list, was also among the top choices?
The other top 10 AP Eng Lit Q3 works: Othello, Frankenstein, Crucible, Beloved, Lord of the Flies, Scarlet Letter, Heart of Darkness, Kite Runner, Wuthering Heights, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
English Language and Composition 9.8% 18.4% 27.3% 29.7% 14.8% June 23 Ok, it's time for the big one, AP English Language & Composition, which more students (529,000) take than any other AP Exam.
Students scored best on Q1, the synthesis question on honor codes: spr.ly/6011BBrmJ
Students performed slightly less well, but not poorly, on the analysis of Chavez's rhetoric & the argument on polite speech.
Macroeconomics 13.8% 22% 17.3% 17.5% 29.4% June 11 Large growth in scores of 1 in AP Macroeconomics this year, raising questions about how to better prepare students for this class.
18 AP Macroeconomics students, out of >127,000 worldwide, earned perfect scores, all 90 points possible on the exam.
AP Macroecon students did very well on Q2 (comparative advantage & specialization); nearly 50% earned 5/5 points: spr.ly/6013B6nx5
The most difficult AP Macroecon FRQ was Q3 (exchange rates & interest rates); <8% of students earned all 6 pts on it:spr.ly/6013B6nIT
Microeconomics 17.9% 28.7% 19.9% 14.4% 19.1% June 11 AP Microeconomics scores are the first to be completed this year, and the news is very good: a solid increase in % of 5s.
AP Microecon teachers have been powerfully improving student mastery these past five years, resulting in such strong scores this year.
In multiple-choice questions, AP Microecon students did less well on questions about “Factor Markets” than other topics.
AP Microecon students highest on free-response Q2 (oligopoly, game theory), and lowest on Q1 (perfect competiton): spr.ly/6019B6PN9
49 AP Microecon students earned 90/90 pts on the exam, answering all questions correctly, earning all pts possible on the 3 FRQs
Spanish Literature 10% 25% 38.2% 20.6% 6.2% July 1 Students did very well on the Cortes text/art comparison (Q2) & also on Q4 (poetry comparison) spr.ly/6014BBCMw
The most difficult question, by far, for AP Spanish Lit students was the explanation of "La siesta del martes" (Q1).
World History 6.4% 14% 31.3% 30.1% 18.2% June 25 AP World History students generally scored well across all periods in the multiple-choice section, especially period 5 (1750-1900).
On the AP World History DBQ (influenza/20th century), the average score was 3 out of 9 points: spr.ly/6016BB5Oo
Students generally scored slightly better on essay 2 (labor changes/continuities, 1450-1900) than essay 3 (trade networks, 600 CE–1450 CE).
Calculus AB 21.3% 17.1% 18.7% 10.5% 32.4% June 12 Within the 20% of admission offices that value some AP subjects over others: #1: Calc AB; #2: Calc BC; #3: Chem; #4: Bio; #5: Eng Lang
3 students worldwide earned every point possible, 108/108, on this year’s AP Calculus AB exam.
AP Calc AB students found Q4 (slope field) most difficult, and generally scored best on Q2 (area, volume): spr.ly/6013B6j1t
Calculus BC 44.6% 16.9% 18.5% 5.4% 14.6% June 12

Within the 20% of admission offices that value some AP subjects over others: #1: Calc AB; #2: Calc BC; #3: Chem; #4: Bio; #5: Eng Lang
1 student, out of 120,000 worldwide who took AP Calc BC this year, earned every point possible, 108/108. Engineering deans want you!
Many AP Calc BC students are incredible mathematicians, showing high mastery. Most tough FRQ: #6, Maclaurin series: spr.ly/6014B6dBo

Statistics 13.2% 18.9% 25.2% 18.9% 23.8% June 25 2 students, out of 200,000 worldwide, achieved perfect scores of 100/100 points possible on this year’s AP Statistics exam.
Students scored best on Q1 & Q5, both of which focus on data exploration: spr.ly/6010BB58y
Turns out AP Statistics Q3 (probabiliy/simulation) is best indicator of overall success; students who answered 3a-c are usually earning a 5.
Lowest performance on AP Statistics:Q6 (sampling/experimentation), the question worth the most. Q6 avg score = just 26% of pts possible.
Art History 10.1% 20.5% 27.1% 20.4% 21.9% June 29 Students scored exceptionally well on multiple-choice questions 1-35, which we've released here: spr.ly/6016BBa6p
Many Students scored low on essay questions 1 (architecture form/fnctn), 2 (male figure), & 3 (mihrab).
Students generally scored best on Q4 (Aulus Metellus) & Q6 (Virginia State Capitol): spr.ly/6016BBaBa
Chinese Language 65.2% 15.4% 12.1% 3.3% 4% July 2 Only 17% of AP Chinese students learn the language primarily in class, rather than at home or abroad.
Many AP Chinese students did well on the writing tasks, but did less well on the conversation task: spr.ly/6016BBCOi
French Language 16.7% 25.6% 33.6% 18.9% 5.2% June 30 75% of AP French students are learning the language primarily in school, rather than hearing it at home or abroad.
1 student, out of 23,000 worldwide, earned all 130/130 pts possible on this year's exam.
Students generally did very well on the writing tasks, slightly less so (but still well) on speaking tasks. spr.ly/6017BBC6F
German Language 24.1% 24% 28.9% 16.8% 6.2% July 1 65% of AP German students learned primarily in class, rather than at home or abroad.
Students did consistently well across the exam, but esp on the email response re: architecture (Task 1): spr.ly/6015BBCGW
Italian Language 20.1% 20.3% 27.6% 22.9% 9.1% July 1 75% of AP Italian Language & Culture students learn the language primarily in class, rather than at home or abroad.
Students did well on the email & conversation, but struggled with public/private identity presentation: spr.ly/6012BBC3q
Japanese Language 48.5% 8.8% 19.7% 8.4% 14.6% July 1 50% of AP Japanese students learned the language primarily in class, rather than at home or abroad.
Students scored somewhat less well on the text chat (Q1) than on the other speaking & writing tasks: spr.ly/6017BBCJ1
Spanish Language 27.3% 35.2% 27.5% 8.7% 1.3% July 1 30% of AP Spanish students learned the language primarily in class, rather than at home or abroad.
7 students, out of 150,000 worldwide, earned all 130/130 points possible on this year's exam.
Solid work on all questions by AP Spanish Lang students this year, interpersonal & presentational, writing & speaking spr.ly/6014BBCKI
Biology 6.2% 22% 35.9% 27.6% 8.3% June 24 Truly great work from AP Bio teachers teaching students to apply math to scientific problems: 2013: 35% avg correct; 2015: avg 55% correct.
Students really struggled on Q2 (cellular metabolism), Q8 (immune response), and esp Q7 (odor perception: 70% of students got 0 pts).
Students did extremely well on Q6 (genetic diversity); 40% of students got perfect scores on that question. spr.ly/6017BBkGc
Music Theory 19.2% 17.4% 24.8% 24.7% 13.9% June 26 Students did best on figured bass (Q5) & melodic harmonization (Q7) partwriting, less well on roman numerals (Q6).
If you have any music training, give this year's AP Music Theory sightsinging questions a try yourself: spr.ly/6010BBciA
By far the most difficult task for AP Music Theory students = the 2nd melodic dictation; use the audio prompt to try: spr.ly/6014BBcce
US Government & Politics 9.8% 13.6% 24.7% 25% 26.9% June 24 Much lower performance on the free-response than the multiple-choice keeps the AP US Govt scores primarily in the 1-3 range.
3 students worldwide, out of ~280,000, earned all 120/120 points possible on this year's AP US Government exam.
Students scored well on all multiple-choice topics, particularly questions about citizen beliefs and behavior.
Students tended to struggle with Q2 (fed/state govts) and Q4 (14th Amendment) on this year's AP US Govt exam: spr.ly/6012BBnOM
To gauge how you did (or would do!) on AP US Govt, look at Q1 (presidential power); Q1 is a good predictor for how a student did overall.
Comparative Government and Politics 14.9% 19.8% 21.7% 22.9% 20.7% June 24 COMPARATIVE Government & Politics, is one of the best kept secrets in AP, with only 20,000 students participating.
AP Comparative Govt focuses on 6 countries: Great Britain, Mexico, Russia, Iran, China, and Nigeria.
The lowest scores on any AP question so far this year are on Q2 (austerity measures) of AP Comp Govt; 80% of students missed this.
Latin 12.7% 21.5% 29.5% 24.3% 12% June 18 By far the most difficult question for AP Latin students was the translation from Book IV of the Aeneid (free-response question #1).
1 AP Latin student (out of >6,000 worldwide) earned all 100 points possible on this year's AP Latin Exam.
Students found Q5 on Orgetorix significantly more difficult than Q4 on Hector’s shade: spr.ly/6019B6A31
Studio Art Drawing 15.5% 22.2% 40.4% 18.6% 3.3% June 30 The AP Studio Art portfolio scoring event is an amazing sight: a vast convention center with row upon row of beautiful work.
The profs/teachers scoring the AP Studio Art portfolios were very impressed w/ the 3D & esp the 2D portfolios this year, less so w/Drawing.
16 AP Studio Art students, out of 18,000 worldwide, achieved all 72/72 points possible for their Drawing portfolios this year.
Across all 3 AP Studio Art portfolio types, students generally scored higher on the Quality section than on Breadth or Concentration.
Studio Art 2D Design 17.1% 28.8% 32.4% 17.4% 4.3% June 30 The AP Studio Art portfolio scoring event is an amazing sight: a vast convention center with row upon row of beautiful work.
The profs/teachers scoring the AP Studio Art portfolios were very impressed w/ the 3D & esp the 2D portfolios this year, less so w/Drawing.
7 students, out of 28,000 worldwide, earned all 72/72 points possible for their design portfolios this year.
Across all 3 AP Studio Art portfolio types, students generally scored higher on the Quality section than on Breadth or Concentration.
Studio Art 3D Design 12.3% 23.6% 36.2% 24.6% 3.3% June 30 The AP Studio Art portfolio scoring event is an amazing sight: a vast convention center with row upon row of beautiful work.
The profs/teachers scoring the AP Studio Art portfolios were very impressed w/ the 3D & esp the 2D portfolios this year, less so w/Drawing.
Nice work on the 3D Design portfolios by AP Studio Art students this year, resulting in a higher % of 4s, 5s, and a lower % of 1s, 2s.
Across all 3 AP Studio Art portfolio types, students generally scored higher on the Quality section than on Breadth or Concentration.
AP Capstone Seminar 4.8% 11.7% 58.5% 21.5% 3.5% July 1 5,000 students became the first to take the brand-new AP Capstone Seminar this year, a new AP course requested by college admission offices.
The AP Seminar score is comprised of 9 "through-course" components: individual & team projects & presentations, an essay, a final exam.
AP teachers & students have been thrilled with the AP Capstone Seminar, & there's such high demand that there's a waiting list until 2017.
If curious about AP Seminar, which can be taught by teachers of any discipline (since they pick the seminar topic): spr.ly/6012BBCuG