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2013 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 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

 This table is sortable by clicking on the header
Exam 5 4 3 2 1 Date Tweeted Trevor's Comments
Computer Science A 26.9% 26.7%. 14.0% 6.9% 25.5%. June 11

Bravo to these teachers & students: a large increase in 4s/5s over last year.
Multiple-choice results: on average, students performed best on the logic/software eng/recursion questions, on average, students performed least well on questions about data structures.
Free-response: similar scores across all 4 questions, slightly higher scores on Q1, slightly lower on Q3:
16% more students took AP Computer Science this year, which makes the expanded ratio of 4s and 5s all the more impressive. What teachers!

United States History 10.6% 21.5% 21.8% 27.2% 18.9% June 12

A bit lower than last year: a slightly smaller percentage of 5s, a slightly larger percentage of 2s.
Multiple-choice section: students tended to perform best on questions re: "Colonial-1789" and less well on "1915-present."
On the essay section, students (on average) performed much less well than on the multiple-choice. Which essay was most difficult for students? Essay #3: 45% of students earned only 0 or 1 of 9 pts on it. Many more students (136,000) chose to write on Essay 2 rather than Essay 3 (67,000).
The highest essay scores were on Essay 5 on protests from 1945-1975: Many more students chose to wrote on Essay 5 (146,000 students) than Essay 4 (57,000).
The redesign of AP US History, which takes effect in fall 2014 = less content coverage, much more focus on argumentation & effective essays.
The most famous AP US History question is the DBQ (on opposition to slavery). The most frequent score this year: 3 out of 9 pts possible.

Chemistry 18.2% 21.3% 19.0% 15.1% 26.4% June 12 Impressive AP Chemistry scores this year -- the % of 4s and 5s is significantly higher , so there's a smaller % of 1,2,3s.
Very strong AP Chemistry multiple-choice scores, particularly on questions about structure of matter, slightly lower on states of matter.
1 student (out of 126,000) earned a perfect score (150 pts possible) on this year's AP Chemistry exam. A future Nobel Prize winner?
Free-response: students scored best on Q4 (writing equations), ~4,000 students earned all 15 pts: Questions 1, 3, and especially 6 (IMFS/Lewis Diagrams) proved most challenging for many students:
European History 10.3% 18.7% 34.9% 11.0% 25.1%. June 13 Slightly lower performance overall than last year, slightly lower % of 3/4/5s. Students tended to perform well, on average, across all topics and historical periods in the multiple-choice section.
The most frequent score is 5/9 on the AP Euro History doc-based question: 12 docs on religious toleration,1500-1700s: Students chose between essay topics on art/politics (19,000 students); colonial expansion (55,000); Newton/Darwin (31,000).
Students chose from 3 20th c. essays: women/workforce (69,000 students), welfare (5,000), right-wing regimes (30,000). The women/workforce and right-wing regimes essays had similar score patterns; the welfare essay had lower scores.
Environmental Science 7.7% 23.3% 16.9% 25.6% 26.5% June 13 The fallacy that AP Environmental Science is the "easy AP science exam" continues; it has the lowest scores of any AP science exam. Too many students take AP Environmental Science without taking the pre-requisites of a standard biology and standard chemistry course first. Results declined this year, dropping below 50% of students earning 3,4,5s.
Where AP Env Science students shined: many high scores on mc questions about: Earth Systems & Resources; Living World; Land & Water Use. The most difficult multiple-choice questions for AP Env Science students were typically on Global Change.
The free-response questions require a terrific blend of content knowledge, math, & analytic skills: Students tended to earn highest scores on Q1 (Gulf Coast Ecosystems), and lowest scores on Q3 (Ozone).
Human Geography 12% 20.3% 20.8% 18.7% 28.2% June 13

Scores hold steady this year, with a slight increase in the average score due to a smaller percentage of 1s.
Scores on the mc questions, on avg, are very good, the highest of any subject so far this year. The lowest scores in mc questions were on Industrialization & Economic Development, but even these avg scores were solid.
Industrialization & Economic Development seems to be the weakness this year in AP Human Geo, as FRQ#1, on that topic, had very low scores. 20,000 (nearly 1 in 5) students earned 0 of 8 points on FRQ#1: Industrialization & Economic Development: On the other hand, AP Human Geo students scored very well on FRQ#2, the Population question; 33,000 students earned 6-8 pts (out of 8).

Physics B 15.2% 19.7% 26.4% 16.8% 21.9% June 14 Scores very similar to last year, but just slightly higher.
Multiple-choice section: students performed best on the mechanics questions & least well on electricity & magnetism questions.
Free-response section: students tended to do very well on Q1 (fluid mechanics): The lowest avg scores were on Q6 (elec & magnetism), while ~29% of students earned 0/10 pts on Q4 (classical mech).
Physics C Mech 25.9% 26.0% 21.1% 14.9% 12.1% June 14 Significantly lower scores -- smaller percentages of 5s in particular. Higher percentages of 2s and 3s.
Multiple-choice: Students performed best, on average, on the kinematics questions.
Free response section: students earned avg scores twice as high on Q2 (Newton's Laws/Kinematics) as Q3 (Rotation/Energy):
5 students earned perfect scores (90/90) on AP Physics C: Mechanics.
Physics C E&M 28.6% 25.0% 13.7% 19.9% 12.8% June 14 Lower scores this year -- significant drop in % of 5s, increase in % of 2s.
Slightly lower performance on the multiple-choice questions about electric circuits than the other m-c questions.
Free-response questions, Q2 (circuits) had lower scores than the other 2 questions:
1 student earned a perfect score (90/90) on AP Physics C: E&M.
Psychology 21.2% 26.7% 19.6% 13.0% 19.5% June 17

Slight increases in the % of 3s, 4s, and 5s compared to last year.
Multiple-choice: students performed very well across the full section, but esp. on the "Abnormal Behavior" questions.
it's really the free-response section where students struggle. Multiple-choice scores are excellent, free-response are low. Students generally performed somewhat better on Q2 than on Q1:
2 students earned every point possible (150 out of 150) on the AP Psychology Exam, administered (coincidentally?) on Freud's b-day.

English Literature and Composition 7.6% 18.9% 31.6% 31.6% 10.3% June 18 Slightly higher % of 3s and 4s and slightly lower % of 1s, 2s, & 5s.
Students performed well on the multiple-choice questions, especially those focused on poetry analysis.
Same pattern as usual in the AP Eng Lit essays: scores were highest on the "free choice" Q3, and lowest on the poetry analysis Q1. Last year (2012), students most frequently chose to write about Heart of Darkness on AP Eng Lit Q3. This year, a very different top pick. Dr. Eileen Cahill of Salem Academy led the scoring of Q3 on the bildungsroman, collecting data re: books most frequently chosen by students. Any guesses on the book most frequently chosen by students for Q3? Hint: the author filed a copyright lawsuit in May. To Kill A Mockingbird was the text AP Eng Lit students most frequently chose. Examiners noted some had fuzzy evidence, having read it yrs ago. Following Lee's novel, the top 10 most frequently selected texts by AP Eng Lit students for Q3 were: 2: Huck Finn. 3: Catcher in the Rye. Two African-American authors (one female, one male) ranked #4 & 5 in most frequently selected AP Eng Lit novels for Q3. Guesses? Two Victorian novelists, one female, one male, authored the #6 and 7 most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3. The #8 and #9 most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3 were not on the list of ideas for students: one Shakespeare, one contemporary. The #8 and #10 most frequently selected novels for AP Eng Lit Q3 are both by the same contemporary author (thankfully not Rowling or Collins) Most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3: #6: Jane Eyre (C. Bronte). #7: Great Expectations (Dickens). Most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3: #8: The Kite Runner (Hosseini). #9: Hamlet. #10: A Thousand Splendid Suns (Hosseini). Most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3: #4: Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston). #5: Invisible Man (Ellison).
English Language and Composition 10.3% 16.1% 28.7% 29.8% 15.1% June 18 A significant increase in low-performing students in the AP English Language & Composition results: much smaller % of 4s, higher % of 1s.
Students scored equally well across all of the various passages in the multiple-choice section this year.
Students tended to score highest on the Q1 synthesis essay, and lowest on the Q2 analysis essay:
Macroeconomics 13.7% 22.6% 16.8% 19.6% 27.3% June 18 Student performance this year was very, very similar to last year.
Students generally scored well on multiple-choice about basic concepts, but struggled with national income determination.
Students generally had strong knowledge of production poss curve & fiscal policy: good scores on Q2 . Phillips curve and inflation was the focus of the most challenging AP Macroeconomics free-response question, Q3:
Microeconomics 16.7% 28.4% 20.6% 15.4% 18.9% June 18 Students generally did really well on the multiple-choice, many acing the handful of questions on consumer choice. Probably the most challenging mc questions for many AP Microecon students were on factor markets, but many good scores even on these.
Students typically scored best on Q1 (monopoly) and least well on Q3 (market failure - externalities):
Spanish Literature 10.9% 28.8% 37.8% 17.8% 4.7% June 19 College professors and college students took the redesigned AP Spanish Literature exam last week to set the standards for 2s,3s,4s,5s.
The majority of AP Spanish Literature students earned the same # of pts as college students, so the % of 3,4,5s is 77% -- nicely done!
M-C questions; generally good results, with lowest scores on text comparison & la construccion del genero.
Students struggled much more with analysis of "Mi caballo mago" (Q3) than any other part of the exam:
World History 5.7% 13.5% 29.4% 30.4% 21% June 20 Some worried that the AP World History exam was too long this year, but completion rates were actually better than some earlier years. Scores on questions at the end of the AP World History exam were similar to prior years, so students didn’t guess at higher rates.
Except the questions based on reading passages, this year’s AP World History students scored less well across the multiple-choice section.
Students scored best on text-based, visual-based, and Period 5 (1750-1900) multiple-choice questions. Nicely done.
This year’s AP World History essays earned the lowest scores ever. It appears many students are being rushed into the course. This year’s AP World History essays earned the lowest scores ever. 113,000 AP World Hist students (60% of all) earned 0/9 pts on Q2 (politics – continuity/change in medieval cultures)
Ideally, AP World History is a 12th grade course, after a standard world history course in an earlier grade. But some 10th graders excel.
Calculus AB 23.8% 18% 17.4% 11.2% 29.6% June 20 AP Calculus AB results were steady this year: slightly larger percentage of 2s & 4s, slightly smaller percentage of 1s & 5s.
AP Calculus AB & BC students performed slightly better on multiple-choice questions on differential calc than integral calc.
About a third of AP Calc AB students earned 0/9 points on Q2 (particle motion), Q4 (graphical analysis of F&F’), Q6 (separable diff.eq.). Students earned the highest mean scores on free-response Q5 on area and volume:
At least 1 student earned a perfect score (108 out of 108 pts) on the AP Calculus AB exam.
Calculus BC 45.3% 16.5% 18.9% 5.4% 13.9% June 20 Significantly lower Calculus BC results this year: big decline in % of 5s, and significant increases in % of 1s & 3s in particular.
AP Calculus AB & BC students performed slightly better on multiple-choice questions on differential calc than integral calc. Students generally earned lower scores on multiple-choice questions about series than other questions.
The AP Calc BC free-response Q2 on polar area/parametric particle motion was most challenging for many students
At least 5 earned perfect scores on Calc BC.
Statistics 12.6% 20.2% 25% 18.8%  23.4% June 21 This year’s AP Statistics results are very consistent with last year’s. Kudos to teachers for maintaining quality as more students enroll.
Multiple choice: students typically scored best on exploring data, sampling & simulation, & lowest on probability & simulation.
Students earned highest free-response scores on Q1 (statistical inference) & Q6 (exploring data).
1 AP Statistics student (out of 151,000 worldwide) earned a perfect score on the exam: 100 out of 100 points possible. By far the most difficult question for AP Statistics students was Q5, another question on statistical inference:
Art History 11.9% 21.5% 27.5% 19.1% 20% June 21 AP Art History scores are fairly similar to last year, but slightly more 2s & 3s, slightly fewer 1s, 4s, 5s.
Good AP Art History results across all content in the multiple-choice section; as usual, architecture questions had slightly lower scores.
AP Art History exams are visually beautiful. Check out these 36 image-based multiple-choice from this year's exam:
Many AP Art History students' weakness is the free-response section: more focus on written analysis will improve qualification for credit. The best scores were on High Renaissance (Raphael) (Q4), the lowest on early Renaissance (Q5).
45% of AP Art History students couldn't ID this early Renaissance artist in Q5, which earned lowest scores.Can you?
The 2nd highest AP Art History free-response scores were on the Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali (Q6). Well done.
Chinese Language* 27% 20% 30.5% 10.2% 12.3% June 24

AP Chinese results show a smaller percentage of 5s, and slightly higher percentages of 4s,3s,2s,1s.
Multiple-choice: students generally performed at a higher level on the reading questions than the listening ones.
This conversation, in which students apply for a job, proved the most challenging task on the AP Chinese exam:

French Language* 14.1% 25.1% 35.5% 20.1% 5.2% June 24

AP French students achieved a somewhat higher percentage of 5s this year. Nicely done. Students tended to perform at the same, solid levels across the full exam -- no variation in scores whether writing or speaking.
Multiple-choice questions re: science & technology proved least challenging; those on personal/public identities, the most.
Among non-heritage students (the standard group), one AP French student earned a perfect score of 130 out of 130 pts possible.

German Language* 11.7% 25% 34.9% 20.5% 7.9% June 24

Some decreases in AP German student performance this year: smaller % of 4s and 5s (and 1s), higher % of 2s and 3s.
AP German: scores were highest on the email reply (Q1) & lowest on the cultural comparison oral presentation (Q4):
Students generally scored very well on multiple-choice questions about beauty/aesthetics & contemporary life.

Italian Language* 10.1% 21.6% 33.9% 27.4% 7% June 24

Large increase in the percentage of students earning a 2 in AP Italian; all other percentages are smaller (5s, 4s, 3s, 1s). Nearly 30% of students achieved perfect scores on task #1, the email response:
Two non-heritage students in AP Italian received perfect scores of 130 out of 130 points possible. Bravi? Brave? Time will tell.

Japanese Language* 18.9% 11.3% 30.1% 11.8% 27.9% June 24 An increase in low-performing AP Japanese students this year: % 5s,4s remained steady, but smaller % 3s,2s & significantly higher % 1s.
AP Japanese students tended to perform at high levels on questions focused on reading Japanese in the multiple-choice section of the exam.
Free-response: students scored best on Q2, writing an article contrasting typing/handwriting in Japanese:
Spanish Language* 13.6% 21.5% 21.2% 21% 22.7% June 24 Scores have held steady in AP Spanish Language this year: a smaller percentage of 3s, but higher percentages of 1s, 2s, and especially 4s.
Multiple-choice: students typically earned higher scores on the reading questions than the listening ones.
Students performed at similar levels across each of the 4 writing & speaking questions:
Biology 5.4% 21.4% 36.3% 29.5% 7.4% June 25 1,200 college students were administered redesigned AP Biology exam questions this spring; their work was scored at the AP Reading. College professors also took the full redesigned AP Biology exam themselves & evaluated each question to set the pts needed for 2,3,4,5. Most AP Biology students earned enough pts to get a 2,3,4, but very few scored well enough on the grid-ins and free-response to score a 5.
AP Biology grid-in questions require students to use mathematics to solve biological problems. The avg score on these was very low: 36%.
Multiple-choice: last year, students earned 63% correct on average; this year, 61%
FRQs require students to "explain," "describe," "justify" their content knowledge. Very low scores on avg. What % of AP Bio students earned 0 pts on these FRQs? Q5 (polypeptides): 45%. Q6 (organelles): 49%. Q8 (hormone-signalling): 54%. AP Bio students performed well on Q3 (evaluating fossils of a transitional species) and Q7 (effect of alcohol on urine production).
I have posted a 6-page summary of the AP Biology exam results on the AP Biology Teacher Community.
College professors attest that AP Biology course & exam are now the gold standard in college-level Biology. Kudos to AP Biology teachers.
Music Theory 18.9% 16.6% 25.6% 25% 13.9% June 25

Students maintained performance levels quite similar to last year -- slightly higher % of 3s and 1s.
Students earned highest average scores on Q5, which requires part writing from figured bass: A significant number of students were not able to part write from Roman numerals (Q6); 9% earned 0 pts. Students performed significantly better on harmonic dictation (Q3&4) than melodic dictation (Q1&2) questions.
Any aspiring musicians care to test your sight singing skills as AP Music Theory students did? 16% of AP Music Theory students scored perfectly on the 1st sight singing task, and 8% scored perfectly on the 2nd:

US Government & Politics 11.2%. 14.3% 26.2% 24.9% 23.4% June 26 AP US Govt & Politics results are in, with a larger percentage of students earning a 3, smaller percentages earning 4s & 5s.
Students performed extremely well on multiple-choice questions about citizen beliefs & behavior. By far the most challenging multiple-choice questions for AP US Govt students were on constitutional underpinnings.
Many students struggled on the free-response section of the AP US Govt exam; on each of the 4 questions, ~20-25% of students earned 0 pts . Performance was very similar on each of the 4 AP US Govt free-response questions, but slightly lower on Q2 (parties' influence on elections)
Comparative Government and Politics 18.7% 21% 19.8% 23% 17.5% June 26 US citizens may be interested in testing their knowledge of US govt & politics on this year's AP questions: I try not to have favorite AP courses, but if I did, AP Comp Govt (China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico,
This year's AP Comparative Government & Politics students, compared to last year, earned smaller % of 4s & 5s, larger % of 2s & 3s. Nigeria, Russia) would be among
Students scored exceptionally well on the multiple-choice questions, particularly those on political economic change.
Short answer questions: students performed best on Q3; nearly 30% earned 3/3 pts on this question about coups d'etat. Students really struggled with Q1 (British coalition govt) and Q5 (supranational orgs). Students demonstrated great understanding of Russia and China in Q7; nearly 40% earned 6-8 out of 8 pts possible. Students struggled with Q8 on ethnic divisions in Mexico and Nigeria. ~18% earned 0 of 7 pts possible.
Can you name 2 supranational organizations? Q5 earned the lowest score on this year's AP Comp Govt exam:
Latin 14.2% 21.1% 31.6% 22.8% 10.3% June 27

The redesigned AP Latin exam, given this year for the 1st time, focuses on both poetry (Vergil's Aeneid) & prose (Caesar's Gallic War).
Multiple-choice: students generally earned higher scores on Vergil than Caesar, & higher scores on sight reading prose than poetry.
Students found the AP Latin translation tasks difficult. 22% earned 0 of 15 pts on Vergil, but somewhat better scores translating Caesar. The analysis essay on Caesar/Dido (Q3) & the Caesar short answers (Q5) separated strong from weak students:
2 AP Latin students came, saw, conquered, earning perfect scores, every point possible, 100 out of 100, on the exam.
We have posted on the online AP Latin Teacher Community info about the way the standards for AP Latin scores of 1,2,3,4,5 were set.

Studio Art Drawing 15.3% 20.4% 42.8% 18.8% 2.7% June 27 AP Studio Art students performed at a high level this year, achieving increases in % earning 3 or higher in each portfolio type.
Studio Art 2D Design 13.4% 31.3% 34.4% 17.8% 3.1% June 27 AP Studio Art students performed at a high level this year, achieving increases in % earning 3 or higher in each portfolio type.
Studio Art 3D Design 10.9% 19.4% 37.5% 26.4% 5.8% June 27 AP Studio Art students performed at a high level this year, achieving increases in % earning 3 or higher in each portfolio type.
* (for standard group, i.e. non-heritage)