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2014 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 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

This table is sortable by clicking on the header - Clicking on an Exam Name will show a compaison of the score distributions for all years compilied

Exam 5 4 3 2 1 Date Tweeted Trevor's Comments
Art History 12.2% 20.4% 27.2% 18.7% 21.5% Jul 01
  • Many AP Art History students scored very low on Q2 & Q7 (Dorothea Lange) regarding 20th/21st century art; a whopping 36% earned 0 pts on Q2.
  • But students are scoring best on the questions about art prior to 500 CE (Q3, Q4, & Q6):
  • The data suggest that AP Art History classes are struggling to "fit it all in," so students aren't getting to 20th century art.
  • The redesigned AP Art History course, effective fall 2015, will solve this breadth v. depth challenge for teachers: 
  • Haven't taken art history since college? Test yourself on these multiple-choice questions from this year's AP exam:
Biology 6.5% 22.2% 35.1% 27.4% 8.8% Jun 19
  • 3 students (out of ~214,000) achieved perfect scores of 120/120 pts on the AP Biology exam. Next stop: curing cancer.
  • Students achieved higher scores, on average, on the free-response questions this year, so a 25% increase in the number of 5s. 
  • The majority of students aced free-response question #3 on ecological impacts, earning all 4 of of 4 points possible. 
  • The most difficult free-response question for many was #7 (thermoregulation in animals); 37% of students earned 0 points on it. 
  • Questions 2 & 6 really separated the strong from the weak. Try them if curious to see where you fall: 
  • Google funded the creation of many new AP Biology courses this year in schools with well-prepared students who lacked access. 
  • For teachers, Dr. LaTanya Sharpe has posted within the AP Bio Teacher Community more details on the AP Bio results: 
Calculus AB 24.3% 16.7% 17.7% 10.8% 30.5% Jun 24
  • I'm impressed by this year's AP Calculus AB results -- a higher % of 5s as teachers expanded access to 13K more students.
  • 1 student in the world earned all 108/108.. We'll notify her/him & the teacher/school this fall.
  • Are too many students being rushed into AP Calc AB? On every free-response question, ~20% of students got 0/9 points
  • The lowest avg score on the free-response questions was on #1 (modeling rate) & the highest was on #6 (separable DE w/slope field). 
Calculus BC 48.3% 16.8% 16.4% 5.2% 13.3% Jun 24
  • There are large score increases in AP Calculus BC this year, w/ the biggest gain being in % of 5s. Impressive work by teachers/students.
  • 5 students worldwide earned perfect scores of 108/108 points on this year's AP Calculus BC Exam. 
  • Students tended to score higher on the multiple-choice questions about Differential Calc than Integral Calc.
  • In the free-response questions, students performed best by far on Q3 (graphical analysis of F/FTC).
  • The Taylor Series question (#6) was most difficult of the AP Calc BC questions; 22% of students earned 0/9 points:
  • AP Calc BC: Q2 (polar) & Q4 were tied for 2nd most difficult question. On Q2, ~9% of students earned all 9 pts; 16% earned 0. 
Chemistry 10.1% 16.6% 25.7% 25.8% 21.8% Jun 13
  • For teachers: we’ve posted a memo in the AP Chem Teacher Community with details about the redesigned exam's scores:
  • Solid performance on the new multiple-choice section. Average score: 55% correct. 62 students earned all 50/50 pts.
  • AP Chem teachers were surveyed for their input on the free-response points students should earn to get a 5.Teachers felt students should earn 34 pts in the FR section to get a 5. But statisticians decided on 31 pts given the exam length.
  • The toughest FR question for many students was #3 (Gases/Decomposition of Calcium Carbonate). 40% of students earned 0/4 pts.
  • Students tended to score best on free-response question 5 (Bonding/Lewis Diagram):
  • College profs & AP teachers agreed the AP Chem FR section was too long, so they discounted the total pts needed in the FR section.
Chinese Lang. and Culture 68.1% 13.8% 12.3% 3.1% 2.7% Jun 25
  • 80% of AP Chinese examinees are heritage speakers, the largest percentage among any of the AP World Language exms. As a reminder, we don't grade AP Exams on a curve; all students who meet the standard for a 5 get a 5. AP Chinese scores show this clearly.
  • Students performed much better on the multiple-choice questions re: interpretive reading than listening. 
  • Students generally did well on the writing; most difficult = cultural presentation (Q4): 8% got 0 pts
Computer Science A 20.9% 23.0% 16.9% 7.7% 31.5% Jun 11
  • American schools are showing real commitment to helping students learn computer science: participation in AP Comp Sci grew by 33% this year.
  • Google funded the creation of AP Computer Science courses in more than 100 schools this year where female & minority students lacked access.
  • Given the difficulty level, it's rare to see a perfect score on an AP Exam, but when we do, we notify the student & teacher in the fall.
  • We're seeing the first perfect scores on any AP Exam so far this year in AP Computer Science: 9 students earned all 80/80 pts.
  • Students scored very well on mc questions about object-oriented programming, but still struggled on data structures.
  • On the free-response questions, students tended to perform best on Q2 (GridWorld case study):
English Language 9.5% 18.0% 28.5% 30.1% 13.9% Jun 19
  • Last year (2013), AP English Language saw a real drop in average score, but this year, while teaching 31,000 more students, scores improved.
  • AP English Lang & Comp is the most "popular" of all the AP Exams, taken by the most students. This year, teachers taught >500,000 students. 
  • Students tended to perform better on multiple-choice questions about 20th century texts than earlier writings. 
  • Of the 3 essays, students generally scored lowest on the analysis of Abigail Adams' letter (question 2):
  • Is college worth the cost? Students typically scored best synthesizing docs & data on this question (#1):
  • The #3 most frequent text for AP Eng Lit Q3 was The Great Gatsby. It wasn’t on the list, but was a good, appropriate choice by students.
  • The #4 and #5 most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3 were both by African-American female novelists.
  • The #6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3 were all dramas, #6, 8, and 10 each by Shakespeare. 
English Literature 7.7% 17.8% 29.5% 33.0% 12.0% Jun 23
  • 15K more students, similar %5s, smalller %3s/4s; higher %1s/2s.
  • Multiple-choice questions: as usual students scored higher analyzing 1) prose than poetry; 2) post-1900 texts than pre.
  • The most frequent score on each of the 3 essays was 4 out of 9 points possible.
  • Average scores on each of the 3 essays: #1 (Gascoigne poem): 46%; #2 (Jones opening): 46%; #3 (sacrifice): 50%.
  • Dr. Eileen Cahill of Salem Academy led the scoring of Q3 on sacrifice, collecting data re: the texts most frequently chosen by students.
  • Any guesses on the novel/play most frequently chosen by students for their essays on values/sacrifice (question 3)?
  • The #1 & #2 most frequently selected texts for Q3 both center on female protagonists at odds with society.
  • Besides Shakespeare, only one other author, Arthur Miller, showed up more than once among the top 10 texts chosen by students. The Scarlet Letter was the #1 most frequently selected text for AP Eng Lit Q3, followed by #2, The Awakening. The #3 most frequent text for AP Eng Lit Q3 was The Great Gatsby. It wasn’t on the list, but was a good, appropriate choice by students. The #4 and #5 most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3 were both by African-American female novelists. Most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3: Beloved and Their Eyes Were Watching God were the #4 & #5 most frequently selected texts for AP Eng Lit Q3. #6: Othello; #7: Death of a Salesman; #8: Hamlet; #8: The Crucible; #10: King Lear.
Environmental Science 8.2% 23.6% 15.4% 25.6% 27.2% Jun 13
  • AP Environmental Science students demonstrated somewhat stronger mastery this year, resulting in a higher % of 5s, 4s, and 3s.
  • 1 student (out of >120,000) earned all 150 pts possible. I fully expect him/her to save the planet one day.
  • Multiple-choice: students tended to score best on “energy resources & consumption” and worst on “earth systems & resources.” 
  • Free-response: students scored best on Q1 (nuclear power plants) and worst on Q3 (plate tectonics):
European History 8.6% 16.9% 34.1% 11.7% 28.7% Jun 11
  • Quite a drop in AP European History scores this year: significantly fewer 5s and 4s, significantly more 1s.
  • Etudents tended to score best on the DBQ, about the rise of solidarity in Poland. Good work w/ very challenging documents.
  • Essays: most students chose to write on the odd-numbered rather than even-numbered questions:
  • The essays that scored highest were #2 (Reformation) & #7 (Power shifts 1815-1914), and lowest: #3 (Enlightenment/women) 
French Language 18.3% 26.0% 33.6% 17.2% 4.9% Jun 23
  • Nice to see solid increase in students participating in AP French this year, with very similar results to last year.
  • 2 students who were not heritage speakers earned perfect scores (130/130 pts) . Future ambassadors?
  • Very consistent results across every section. Test yourself against these French audio prompts:
German Language 23.1% 23.0% 26.9% 18.8% 8.2% Jun 30
  • Student performance on the AP German Exam was weaker this year: smaller % of 3-5; higher % of 1-2.
  • Two-thirds of AP German students learned German primarily in schools; of these, 1 earned a perfect score of 130/130 pts. Future diplomat?
  • Students generally scored lowest on: oral presentation on part-time jobs; ~10% of students earned 0/5 pts:
Government and Politics, Comp. 19.6% 23.7% 18.8% 21.9% 16.0% Jun 27
  • Scores are higher this yr in one of the jewels in the AP Program’s crown, the terrific AP Comp Govt & Politics course, our best-kept secret.
  • The focuses of AP Comparative Govt/Pol are: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia; really important for global understanding.
  • AP Comparative Govt students scored best on Q1 (Russia's natural resources) and worst on Q5 (Nigerian armed forces): 
  • On the longer questions, AP Comp Govt students scored best on 6 (legislatures) & worst on 7 (decentralization of power in Britain & Mexico).
  • Roughly 75% of AP Comp Govt students are seniors, 20% are juniors.
Government and Politics, US 11.9% 12.4% 26.5% 24.6% 24.6% Jun 27
  • 18K more students gained access to AP US Govt & Pol this year & scores = similar to last year. Kudos to those teachers/students.
  • In the AP US Govt & Pol free-response section, the strongest performance overall was on the topic of voter turnout (Q2).
  • 12% of the students bombed (0/6 pts) Q1 (Constitutional underpinnings) & Q4 (party polarization): 
  • 7 students achieved perfect scores (120/120 pts) on this year’s AP US Govt & Pol exam. Future presidents, governors, legislators, judges?
  • Students scored extremely well on the multiple-choice questions re: citizen beliefs & behavior.
Human Geography 11.0% 20.0% 21.1% 18.4% 29.5% Jun 16
  • AP Human Geography students performed very similar to last year, but slightly smaller % of 5s, slighlty larger % of 1s.
  • Very solid performance on all multiple-choice topics, except the “nature of geography,” which they found difficult.
  • Many students did superb work analyzing global agricultural systems, the focus of free-response question 3.
  • 35% of the students earned 0/7 points on question 1: Rostow's and Wallerstein's economic development models:
Italian Language and Culture 19.7% 20.6% 28.3% 22.7% 8.7% Jul 01
  • Three-fourths of AP Italian students have studied Italian primarily in school, rather than hearing it in their home or abroad.
  • Many students struggled w/the oral presentation on fashion (4) & the email reply (1); ~10% got 0 pts on those questions.
  • Students tended to score well on the presentational essay (Q2) and the interpersonal dialogue (Q3):
Japanese Lang. and Culture 41.9% 10.4% 22.6% 7.3% 17.8% Jul 01
  • Performance on the AP Japanese Exam was weaker this year, with a drop in the % of 5s, and an increase in the % of 1s.
  • Half of AP Japanese students learned Japanese primarily in school, rather than at home or abroad. 
Latin 14.1% 21.7% 30.3% 23.4% 10.5% Jun 30
  • AP Latin results this year are virtually identical to last year, with very similar numbers of students participating (~6,500).
  • In the multiple-choice section, students generally scored best on questions re: the Vergil syllabus reading.
  • Free-response: students peformed best on Q5 (Caesar's passage on Orgetorix):
  • Free-response: students generally scored lowest on Q4 (Aeneid 2) and esp. Q2 (Gallic War 6.18) where ~10% of students earned 0 pts.
Macroeconomics 15.1% 22.8% 18.9% 17.9% 25.3% Jun 18
  • Really impressive learning demonstrated on the AP Macroeconomics exam. ~10,000 more students took it + big increase in % of 3s, 4s, 5s.
  • 45 students worldwide earned perfect (90/90 pts) scores. I hope they improve our economy asap. 
  • There was such solid student work on the free-response questions - the best so far this year: 
  • The most difficult multiple-choice topic for students was "economic measurements," but even so, strong knowledge demonstrated.
Microeconomics 14.0% 28.5% 21.9% 16.0% 19.6% Jun 18
  • A smaller % of students demonstrated exceptional AP Microeconomics knowledge this year: a smaller % of 5s, higher % of 3s, 4s. Same % 1s,2s.
  • 5 students earned all points possible (90/90).
  • Students generally scored well across all topics in the multiple-choice section, but then stumbled on free-response 1 & 2.
  • More than 12% of the students earned 0/6 points on free-response question #2 (factor market):
Music Theory 19.7% 17.7% 25.4% 24.1% 13.1% Jul 02
  • Very solid gains in student mastery of AP Music Theory this year: higher % of 4s & 5s, smaller % of 1s and 2s.
  • AP Music Theory students performed very well on the #1 sight-singing task, the highest scoring question this year:
  • The most difficult question for many AP Music Theory students (10% scored 0 on it) was the second melodic dictation question.
Physics B 14.3% 18.5% 26.9% 17.5% 22.8% Jun 10
  • Significantly lower AP Physics B scores this year, with a large drop in the % of students scoring 5s, and higher percentages of 1s/2s.
  • Students performed well on multiple-choice questions about fluids/thermal physics, and worst on waves/optics/atomic/nuclear.
  • In the free-response section, Students scored well on Q1 (classical mechanics); more than 35% of students earned 11+ points on it.
  • The question bombed by most AP Physics B students: Q6 on atomic physics; >40% of students earned 0/10 pts:
Physics C E&M 32.0% 25.3% 13.1% 17.4% 12.2% Jun 13
  • Truly astounding student performance on the calculus-based AP Physics C exams this year – more than 30% earned 5s on these exams!
  • Engineering departments say AP Physics C is the best prep; they’re going to be thrilled with the huge gains in student mastery this year. 
  • 1 student in the world achieved a perfect score (90/90 pts) on Physics C: Mech. 1 student achieved a perfect score on C: E&M. Same student?
  • Physics C: E&M students scored well on the Circuits question (#1), but many struggled w/the Electrostatics one (#3): 
Physics C Mech. 30.8% 26.1% 19.0% 13.3% 10.8% Jun 13
  • Truly astounding student performance on the calculus-based AP Physics C exams this year – more than 30% earned 5s on these exams!
  • Engineering departments say AP Physics C is the best prep; they’re going to be thrilled with the huge gains in student mastery this year. 
  • 1 student in the world achieved a perfect score (90/90 pts) on Physics C: Mech. 1 student achieved a perfect score on C: E&M. Same student?
  • In the free-response section, AP Physics C: Mech students performed really well on Q1, and struggled most on Q2:
Psychology 18.5% 27.1% 19.9% 13.6% 20.9% Jun 17
  • There was a significant drop in the % of students perfoming at highest levels on the AP Psychology Exam: smaller % of 5s this year.
  • 3 students earned perfect scores -- all 150/150 pts.
  • S students succeeded at very high levels on the multiple-choice questions on Social/Developmental Psych.
  • In the FR section, students generally scored much higher on Q1 (Research) than Q2 (Development/Personality): 
Spanish Language 24.1% 35.1% 30.1% 9.2% 1.5% Jun 27
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture students demonstrated superb proficiency on the new exam this year. 5: 24.1%; 4: 35.1%; 3: 30.1%; 2: 9.2%; 1: 1.5%
  • A third of the AP Spanish Lang students learned Spanish primarily in school. 9 of these students achieved perfect scores of 130/130 pts.
  • We’ve posted a memo in the Online AP Spanish Lang Teacher Community providing more details on the new exam’s results
Spanish Literature 9.8% 25.6% 39.1% 19.4% 6.1% Jun 17
  • Significant declines in the % of AP Spanish Literature students scoring at the top levels: large declines in %4-5, increases in %1-3.
  • Students generally excelled on the multiple-choice questions about the required readings.
  • The most challenging task for students was #4, the Cervantes/Montalvo text comparison essay: 
Statistics 14.0% 20.9% 24.5% 17.9% 22.7% Jun 20
  • Very impressive work from AP Statistics teachers & students: 15,000 more students participated, and larger % of 4s/5s, smaller % of 1s/2s.
  • 2 students achieved perfect scores of 100/100 pts.
  • Students generally scored lower on multiple-choice questions about "statistical inference" and "probability & simulation."AP Statistics free-response #5 required students to distinguish a 2-sample t test from a paired t test; 46% of students earned 0 on it.
  • Students generally performed best on free-response questions 1 and 4:
Studio Art (portfolios due)
Studio Art 2D (portfolios due) 13.9% 29.5% 35.1% 18.3% 3.2% Jun 30
  • 1 student worldwide earned a perfect score on the AP Studio Art 2D Design portfolio. The next Rotkho or Frankenthaler? Regardless of portfolio type, students generally scored better on the "Quality" section than the "Concentration" and "Breadth"
Studio Art 3D (portfolios due) 11.0% 19.7% 36.8% 27.7% 4.8% Jun 30
  • 4 students earned perfect scores (72/72) on their AP Studio Art 3D Design portfolios. The next Calders, Koonses, or Hadids? Regardless of portfolio type, students generally scored better on the "Quality" section than the "Concentration" and "Breadth"
Studio Art Drawing (portfolios due) 16.0% 20.9% 40.6% 19.0% 3.5% Jun 30
  • 13 students worldwide earned perfect scores (72/72) on the AP Studio Art: Drawing portfolio. The next Durers and O'Keefes? Regardless of portfolio type, students generally scored better on the "Quality" section than the "Concentration" and "Breadth"
United States History 11.0% 21.3% 20.2% 27.9% 19.6% Jun 10
  • Very good work from AP US History teachers, who taught ~20,000 more students in 2014 than 2013, but achieved very similar scores.
  • Essays: the large majority of students chose to write on Q2 (Colonial) & Q4 (Reconstruction):
  • ~1000 students earned all 9 pts possible on the famous "DBQ", this year on US foreign policy from 1918-1953: 
World History 6.4% 15.8% 31.7% 27.9% 18.2% Jul 02
  • Great work from AP World History teachers/students, some of the most dramatic score increases of any subject: much higher % of 3s/4s/5s.
  • I don't believe any subject has bigger differences between multiple-choice scores (excellent) & essay scores (dismal) than AP World History.
  • AP World History students did extremely well on multiple-choice, esp Periods 1 & 2 (pre-600 CE); slightly less well on Period 4 (1450-1750). 
  • While student mastery improved significantly in AP World History this year, low avg scores on the essays keep many from scoring 3+.
  • Average scores on the 3 AP World History essays are very low: Q1 (DBQ): 29%; Q2: 21%; Q3: 19%. The questions:
  • A significant % of AP World History students earned 0 pts on various essays: Q1 (DBQ) 19% got 0/9 pts; Q2: 32% got 0/9; Q3: 35% got 0/9.