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2019 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 comparison of the score distributions for all years compiled

Exam 5 4 3 2 1 Date Tweeted Trevor's Comments
2-D Art and Design 21.0% 31.5% 33.9% 10.8% 2.8% Jun 20
  • Two more subjects break records this year for qualifying scores: both the AP Studio Art 2D and AP Studio Art Drawing portfolios had the highest % of 3+ scores yet for those portfolios. The 3D portfolios were, on average, slightly weaker than in most prior years.
  • 16 students so far, out of ~36,000 worldwide, achieved all 72/72 points possible for this year’s AP Studio Art 2D Design portfolio.
3-D Art and Design 10.1% 22.5% 37.5% 25.6% 4.3% Jun 20
  • Two more subjects break records this year for qualifying scores: both the AP Studio Art 2D and AP Studio Art Drawing portfolios had the highest % of 3+ scores yet for those portfolios. The 3D portfolios were, on average, slightly weaker than in most prior years.
  • 5 students so far, out of ~6,000 worldwide, achieved all 72/72 points possible for this year’s AP Studio Art 3D Design portfolio.
AP Research 10.8% 22.3% 43.1% 19.3% 4.5% Jun 21
  • AP Capstone Research students achieved the highest-yet percentage of research papers earning scores of 3+, even as teachers expanded the course to more than 5,000 additional students this year.
  • 150 students so far this year, out of more than 15,000 worldwide, have achieved perfect scores of 80/80 points possible on their AP Research academic paper, presentation and oral defense.
  • I’ll post a few examples of AP Research projects and papers that caught the attention of my colleague Serena Magrogan, who is the AP Program’s leader of the AP Research course; these each earned good scores.
  • An AP Research paper from this year: “A Practical Examination of the Efficacy of Two Combat Styles in Two Species of Chasmosaurine Ceratopsian.” The student used a 3D printer to build skeletal frames of a dinosaur species to determine defense techniques based on bone structure.
  • Another example of a good AP Research paper this year: “Folding Under Pressure: Exploring the Properties of Nonstandard Origami Tessellations as Folded Cores in Sandwich Structures.” The student explored properties of folded structures for use of such structures in engineering.
  • Another example of a good AP Research paper this year: “Art, Social Class and Critical Thinking: A Varied Interpretation of Mexican Muralism.” The student looked at how different socioeconomic structures affected the opinions of individuals viewing murals throughout Mexico.
  • One more example: a good AP Research paper this year - “The Swiss Film Industry.” The student studied the extent to which Swiss filmmakers’ perspectives on Hollywood’s media imperialism & the cultural discount theory hindered potential for producing international box office hits.
AP Seminar 6.8% 14.6% 59.3% 17.0% 2.3% Jun 21
  • Student performance in the AP Capstone Seminar course continues to be strong, with 80% of students earning qualifying scores on their individual / team projects and presentations and the final exam.
  • AP Seminar students scored very well on the timed 90-minute evidence-based argument, in which they could utilize Silko, Thoreau, and others as sources in an argument. 10% of AP Seminar students earned all 24/24 points possible on this essay.
  • Once again, the most challenging of the AP Seminar tasks was the Individual Written Argument, a 2,000-word paper the students develop during the course. This year, the stimuli for this paper included pieces by Bob Dylan, MLK, Jr., and Margaret Thatcher.
  • 4 students so far this year, out of ~40,000 worldwide, achieved all 150/150 points possible across the various AP Seminar projects and assessments.
Art History 12.0% 25.0% 26.9% 24.4% 11.7% Jun 17
  • This year’s AP Art History exam performance is slightly lower than 2018’s highest scores of the decade, but remains higher than performance from 2010-2017.
  • Multiple-choice: the pattern is similar to prior years, suggesting that students are learning African art & Global Contemporary art very well, the topics that earned the highest scores, & need more focus on: 1) architecture; and 2) the art of indigenous Americans.
  • A nice tribute on the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death: Students scored exceptionally well on Q3, which required them to write a visual analysis of his Last Supper. Nearly 30% of the students earned all 6/6 points possible on this question.
  • Definitely the most challenging question for students was Q4, on the historical /religious context for the David Vases: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-art-history.pdf?course=ap-art-history
Biology 7.1% 22.1% 35.4% 26.7% 8.7% Jun 24
  • AP Biology students achieve an all-time high: in 65 years of AP Biology, this year’s students have earned the highest % of 3+ scores ever, even while teachers have expanded access to 6,000 more students this year.
  • 1 student so far this year, out of ~265,000 worldwide, has earned all 120/120 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Multiple-choice: students scored exceptionally well on questions about Big Idea 4 (system interactions) and Science Practices 4 (data collection) and 5 (data analysis & evaluation).
  • To increase the percentage of AP Biology students earning 5s, much more proficiency with Science Practice 2 (use of mathematics) is necessary; the free, new resources, available for teachers to unlock for students from Aug 1 this year, provide great help with this skill.
  • Free-response question #2 (investigating protist competition) has five parts; generally, students earning a 3 this year can answer two parts, students earning a 4 can answer three parts, and students earning a 5 can answer four or more parts. https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-biology.pdf
Calculus AB 18.9% 18.8% 20.6% 23.4% 18.3% Jun 25
  • This year’s AP Calculus AB students demonstrated a slightly stronger mastery than students in 2017 and 2018, so there’s a slight increase in % of exams earning scores of 3+ this year.
  • Multiple-choice: students generally scored highest on questions on “applying the mean value theorem” and lowest on questions about “derivatives as functions” and “interpreting and applying integrals.”
  • AB free-response: students generally scored highest on FRQ1 (modeling rates) and found FRQ4 (modeling with separable diff) the most challenging: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/ap19-frq-calculus-ab.pdf
  • Great job, AP Calculus BC teachers and students: this year’s students achieved a significant increase in mastery: ~7,000 more students will earn 5s this year than last; at the same time, access increased by ~5,000 students.
Calculus BC 43.2% 18.5% 19.8% 13.6% 4.9% Jun 25
  • Great job, AP Calculus BC teachers and students: this year’s students achieved a significant increase in mastery: ~7,000 more students will earn 5s this year than last; at the same time, access increased by ~5,000 students.
  • 7 students so far this year, out of ~145,000 worldwide, earned all 108/108 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Multiple-choice: students triumphed over questions on “interpretations and applications of derivates” (EU 2.3); the lowest performance was on questions focused on “derivates as functions” (EU 2.2.).
  • Students scored very well on FRQ1 (modeling of rates); to score a 5, AP students are typically earning 6/9 points on this question to equal the performance of college calculus students who receive As in the corresponding course. https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/ap19-frq-calculus-bc.pdf
  • The most difficult question on this year’s exam? FRQ2: polar-area. ~20% of students scored 0/9 on it. Because it was also difficult for college calculus students, AP students only need to earn 1-2 pnts on it in order to equal the college students and thus score 3+.
Chemistry 10.7% 16.2% 27.7% 23.6% 21.8% Jun 20
  • After 2018’s strongest-yet scores on the AP Chemistry exam, this year’s students had a tough act to follow, but largely maintained last year’s % of exams scoring 3+ due to an especially large increase in scores of 3, while the % of 2s, 4s & 5s declined.
  • 1 student so far, out of ~165,000 worldwide, has achieved all 100/100 points possible on this year’s AP Chemistry exam.
  • AP Chemistry multiple-choice: students generally scored especially well on “structure & property relations” questions and science practices 1 (“representations & models”) and 3 (“scientific questioning”), and least well on “kinetics” questions.
  • AP Chemistry free-response: students generally scored well on Q1 (urea) and Q4 (KMT & gas laws – carbon dioxide), and found Q3 (analysis sodium carbonate solution) and Q6 (kinetics) much more difficult.
  • AP Chemistry FRQ7 is a good predictor of your scores: if you can’t answer any of the 4 points, you’re likely receiving a 1, if you can get 1 point, you’ll likley score a 2, if you can get 2 points, you’ll likely earn a 3, if you can answer 3 points, a 4. https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/apc/ap19-frq-chemistry.pdf
Chinese Lang. and Culture 57.2% 14.8% 16.3% 4.6% 7.1% Jun 26
  • This year’s AP Chinese Language and Culture exam saw a significant reduction in the number of highly proficient students, so there’s a steep drop in the percentage of 5s, and increases in every other score.
  • Again this year,  students scored very well on the email response task, in which an impressive 23% of students earned all 6/6 points possible.
  • Also again this year: AP Chinese Language students generally found the conversation task (Q3) regarding a friend’s upcoming visit, the most challenging: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-chinese-language.pdf
  • The topic of this year’s oral presentation was the significance of a traditional Chinese holiday (e.g., Lantern Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Moon Festival). The data show that this task very effectively identified students who should receive college credit. 
Computer Science A 27.0% 22.1% 20.8% 11.8% 18.3% Jun 14
  • Another record broken this year, this time by the AP Computer Science A teachers and students, achieving the highest scores yet in that subject. This is especially impressive since those teachers also provided access to ~5,000 more students this year.
  • I’ve never seen so many AP subjects increase performance in a single year. Remember that exam difficulty is statistically equated, students aren't forced into a curve, so when scores increase like this, it’s a reflection of good teaching and learning.
  • A whopping 601 students, out of approximately 70,000 worldwide, earned all 80/80 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Multiple-choice: students scored very well across every topic, but especially on programming fundamentals (of course) and on logic / software engineering / recursion questions.
  • Many students scored exceptionally well on each of the 4 free-response questions. Nearly a third got 9/9 points on Q3 (arraylist processing – delimiters) and more than half earned 8-9 points on Q1 (methods & control – apcalendar): https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-computer-science-a.pdf
Computer Science Principles 13.6% 21.1% 38.0% 19.0% 8.3% Jun 24
  • Many wondered if schools could handle the rapid expansion of AP Computer Science Principles, easily the fastest growing AP subject this year; teachers/students proved such worries unfounded, equaling last year’s high success rate while providing access for 26,000 more students!
  • 234 students so far this year, out of ~86,000 worldwide this year, earned all 100/100 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Multiple-choice questions: incredibly high performance on questions related to “data & information,” “internet,” & “global impact.” The most challenging questions were on programming, but scores were solid even on those.
  • “Explore” task: 27% earned all 8/8 pts possible; 24% earned 7 pts; 17% earned 6 pts; 12% earned 5 points; 8% earned 4 points; 4% earned 3 points; 4% earned 2 points; 3% earned 1 point; 1% earned 0 points.
  • “Create” task: 14% earned all 8/8 pts possible; 20% earned 7 pts; 19% earned 6 pts; 15% earned 5 points; 12% earned 4 points; 9% earned 3 points; 6% earned 2 points; 3% earned 1 point; 2% earned 0 points
Drawing 20.8% 33.4% 36.9% 7.8% 1.1% Jun 20
  • Two more subjects break records this year for qualifying scores: both the AP Studio Art 2D and AP Studio Art Drawing portfolios had the highest % of 3+ scores yet for those portfolios. The 3D portfolios were, on average, slightly weaker than in most prior years.
  • 21 students so far, out of ~21,000 worldwide, achieved all 72/72 points possible for this year’s AP Studio Art Drawing portfolio.
English Language 10.1% 18.5% 26.5% 31.1% 13.8% Jun 18
  • This year’s AP English Language & Composition performance is somewhat weaker than last year’s; slightly fewer 5s, more 4s; fewer 3s, more 2s.
  • 2 students so far this year, out of nearly 600,000 worldwide, earned all 150/150 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Multiple-choice results: students scored best on analysis of 21st century texts, then 20th century texts, with slightly lower performance on texts written prior to 1900.
  • Essays: students generally earned higher scores on Q1 (the synthesis essay), then on Q3 (the argument essay), with lowest performance, as usual, on Q2 (the analysis essay).
English Literature 6.2% 15.9% 28.0% 34.3% 15.6% Jun 14
  • AP English Literature students demonstrated significantly stronger skills of literary analysis this year than in 2018, increasing the % of students scoring 3+ by several points. Kudos to AP teachers for reversing a multi-year decline in literary analysis. Keep up the good work.
  • Multiple-choice: as usual, students scored much higher on prose analysis than poetry analysis, but against what some expected, scored higher on texts written prior to the 20th century than 20th-21st century texts.
  • For the first time I can remember, AP English Lit students scored about as well on the poetry analysis essay (Q1: Page’s “The Landlady”) as they did on the prose analysis (Q2: Howells - excerpt from The Rise of Silas Lapham). Nice job! https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-english-literature-0.pdf?course=ap-english-literature-and-composition
  • For Q3, students overwhelmingly chose to write about The Great Gatsby. Other frequent choices: Brave New World; To Kill a Mockingbird; Frankenstein; The Awakening; 1984; Hamlet; Invisible Man.
Environmental Science 9.5% 25.9% 14.2% 25.5% 24.9% Jun 11
  • Nice work! This year's AP Environmental Science students achieved the highest % of exams scoring 3+ in this subject this decade. The planet Earth says congrats and thank you.
  • Students scored exceptionally well on multiple-choice questions about "population" and "land and water use" but struggled on questions about "global change."
  • Free-response questions: students generally scored best on the ocean acidification question (#3), and scored worst on the two questions that require scientific calculations (#2, #4): https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/apc/ap19-frq-environmental-science.pdf
European History 11.7% 20.6% 26.1% 29.4% 12.2% Jun 18
  • This year’s AP European History scores are slightly stronger than last year’s, with a slightly higher percentage of 3s and 4s, and fewer 2s>
  • 2 students so far, out of ~100,000 worldwide, earned all 140/140 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Multiple-choice section: students scored very well across all periods of the course, but noticeably stronger on Period 1 (1450-1648), with performance incrementally lower across periods 2, then 3, then 4.
  • Short answer questions: students demonstrated exceptionally strong knowledge on Q4 (British industrialization), and many scored well on Q3 (Protestant Reformation), but often struggled on Q1 (Russian Revolution) and Q2 (Enlightenment).
  • DBQ: 76% of students earned the thesis point; 48% earned the contextualization point; 19% earned all 3 evidence points, 40% earned 2 evidence points, & 35% earned 1 evidence point; 5% earned both analysis points, & 22% earned 1 analysis point.
  • Long essays: students who chose Q2 generally demonstrated stronger knowledge/skills than those who chose Q3 and Q4. This is a generalization, as there were very good essays for each choice, but Q2 had the highest avg score.
French Language 15.5% 25.1% 36.1% 18.5% 4.8% Jun 25
  • Of all the AP world language exams, the AP French exam serves the greatest percentage of non-heritage speakers, i.e., students learning a language primarily in school rather than home. This year’s performance is stable, virtually the same overall proficiency as last year.
  • Multiple-choice: students generally scored higher this year on questions that had print-only or audio-only stimuli than combined stimuli.
  • Students did a wonderful job on FRQ1, the email chat with "Yves Rochat, directeur du programme d'été Passeport Vacances." Nearly 50% of students earned all 4-5 points possible on this task.
  • This year, many AP French students were stumped by the oral presentation comparing their own community to an area of the French-speaking world; ~50% scored 0/5 on it. This difficult task was designed to identify A-level college work; students getting an AP 5 succeed on it.
German Language 18.4% 23.9% 28.2% 20.8% 8.7% Jun 27
  • Proficiency increased, overall, among this year’s AP German Language and Culture students, so there’s an uptick in the percentage of students earning scores of 3+.
  • The high point of this year’s exam was achieved as students wrote a source-based essay on the topic of “sollte man weniger online einkaufen?” (FRQ 2) 16% of students achieved all 5/5 points possible on it.
  • Students performed very ably, in general, on Q4, the oral presentation they gave on the role of nature in local lives: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-german-language-0.pdf?course=ap-german-language-and-culture
Government and Politics, Comp. 22.2% 24.8% 19.2% 18.7% 15.0% Jun 28
  • This year’s AP Comparative Government & Politics students soared up to 66% scores of 3+, a big increase over 2018.
  • While there are multiple versions of each AP exam, I’ll report AP Comparative Government & Politics data for the two versions taken by the largest numbers of students. Set 1 released questions: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/ap19-frq-comparative-government-politics-set-1.pdf and Set 2 released questions: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-comparative-government-politics-set-2.pdf
  • Multiple-choice: students knew political / economic change very well, and found public policy questions generally the most difficult.
  • Set 1 FRQs: students excelled on Q7 (democratic vs authoritarian elections: 27% got all 5 pts), but 43% were stumped when asked to define civil society (Q3) – the lowest scoring question on this year’s exam.
  • Set 2 FRQs: students scored best on the last question of the exam (Q8: the Russian government’s undermining of civil society groups; 14% got all 5 pts), and lowest on Q4 (use of coercion by states; 30% were stumped).
Government and Politics, US 12.9% 12.4% 29.9% 24.8% 20.0% Jun 28
  • AP US Government scores make for a good conclusion to this year’s score tweets; the depth of understanding students are demonstrating of America’s founding documents, representative Supreme Court cases, civil liberties, and civic engagement is heartening, fortifying, inspiring.
  • Last year’s percentage of AP US Government & Politics exams scoring 3+ was the highest of the decade . . . and this year’s is even higher, from 53% to 55%. Teachers did a great job with the new course framework.
  • 36 students so far this year, out of ~327,000 worldwide, achieved all 120/120 points possible on this year’s exam. I hope they all run for public office stat.
  • On all topics within the multiple-choice section, students demonstrated strong knowledge, with especially high scores on the dozen+ questions on Unit 5 – political participation. I’m hoping that great performance is a harbinger of civic engagement.
  • The skills of these AP US Government students! ~50,000 answered correctly every question that required them to analyze the Founding Documents or other primary sources; ~25,000 answered correctly every question requiring analysis of quantitative political data.
  • Free-response: students performed best on Q1, the Pulpit Freedom Sunday / Johnson Amendment / Alliance Defending Freedom question. ~80,000 students (27%) earned all 3/3 points possible on it.
  • FRQ2 required analysis & application of data on government officials’ tendencies to compromise or stick to principles; students generally did well, with ~32,000 (11%) earning all 4/4 points on it.
  • FRQ3: the SCOTUS comparison of Brown v Board of Ed was the most challenging question on the exam, so a clear area for further focus to boost scores of 3+. The free resources (avail Aug 1) will provide a lot of help for learning and applying SCOTUS cases.
  • Correction: (Thanks to those who caught this.) The AP US Gov argumentative essay has the most points of any FRQ; students generally did very well on it, drawing evidence from the Articles of Confederation, Brutus 1, The Federalist 10 + other sources to develop & support a claim.
  • Argumentative essay: 67,000 (22%) students earned all 6 points. 72% of students earned the thesis point; 36% earned all 3 evidence pts, 23% earned 2 evidence pts, & 21% earned 1 evidence pt; 48% earned the reasoning pt; 37% earned the alternative perspective pt.
  • For AP US Government & Politics teachers: later this afternoon, we’ll be posting on the online teacher community a full memo on this year’s AP US Government & Politics exam results, how the college standards were determined, and how they compared to teachers’ standards.
Human Geography 10.7% 18.3% 20.1% 16.9% 33.9% Jun 11
  • The percentage of students earning 3+ in AP Human Geography is the lowest it’s been this decade; this year, many more students failed to demonstrate the content/skills required for college credit, making this the only subject in which more than a 1/3 of AP students score a 1.
  • Students generally scored well across all multiple-choice topics, w/ especially high performance on “cultural patterns & processes.” Most challenging topics were “agricultural & rural land use,” “cities and urban land use,” & “political organization of space.”
  • there were two versions of the exam taken by large numbers of students, so I’ll report first on the “Set 1” questions (https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-human-geography-set-1.pdf) then on the “Set 2” questions (https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-human-geography-set-2.pdf).
  • "Set 1” results: students generally scored well on Q2 (infant mortality rate: 37% of students score 5+ out of 7 points possible) but really struggled with Q3 (devolution: 32% of students scored 0/6 points).
  • “Set 2” results: students performed better on Q1 (postindustrial economy) than on Q2 (urban landscapes) and Q3 (international boundaries), but generally struggled on all three questions.
  • “Set 2” proved more difficult for students than “Set 1,” so the cutscores (points required for grades of 2, 3, 4, 5) on the two sets are different so that the standards for students are the same, regardless of which set they took.
  • To ensure equivalent AP Human Geography standards for the two exam versions taken by most students: statistical analysis found that to earn a score of 3+, “Set 2” students can earn 7 fewer points on the 120-point exam than “Set 1” students.
Italian Language and Culture 11.8% 17.7% 35.1% 25.9% 9.5% Jun 27
  • This year’s AP Italian Language & Culture students demonstrated significantly weaker proficiency in Italian than prior years’, so the scores are the lowest they’ve ever been in this subject. I hope the many free, new resources available for the coming year will help.
  • Students generally scored quite well on Q1 (the email reply to “Valerio Martini dell’Ufficio Prenotazioni del Festival Internazionale degli Artisti di Strada”) and Q2 (the source-based persuasive essay): 12% and 16%, respectively earned all 5/5 points.
  • The most challenging component of this year’s exam for many students was the oral presentation (Q4); 16% of students scored 0/5 on it: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-italian-language.pdf
Japanese Lang. and Culture 38.2% 12.8% 24.0% 9.2% 15.8% Jun 24
  • This year’s AP Japanese Language & Culture students generally demonstrated lower levels of proficiency than prior years’, so there’s a very sharp decline in the % earning scores of 5 (from 49% last year to 38% this year). The overall % scoring 3+ remains high: 75%.
  • As in prior years,  student performance was stronger on multiple-choice questions that assessed reading Japanese than on those assessing listening.
  • Unusually, the highest scores in the AP Japanese free-response section were on the article they wrote, in which students compared and contrasted written and spoken Japanese. 13% of students earned all 6/6 points possible on it.
  • Unusually, the lowest scores in the AP Japanese free-response section were not on the text chat, which in other years has always been most difficult, but on the conversation about an upcoming homestay.
Latin 13.1% 19.3% 30.7% 24.1% 12.8% Jun 19
  • This year’s AP Latin proficiency is generally lower than last year’s, so a smaller number of students will receive scores of 3+ this year.
  • Students performed evenly across the multiple-choice section, whether the task required reading of Vergil or Caesar, poetry or prose.
  • Free-response questions: students generally scored higher on the Caesar translation than the Vergil translation, while scoring higher on the Vergil short answer than the Caesar short answer: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-latin.pdf
Macroeconomics 17.6% 22.9% 17.4% 15.3% 26.9% Jun 12
  • This year’s AP Macroeconomics students fell just slightly behind 2018’s all-time high performance, but still achieved a higher percentage of 3,4,5s than students from 2010-2017.
  • So far: 64  students, out of ~145,000 worldwide, have earned all 90/90 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • As has frequently been the case, students scored lowest on multiple-choice questions about the “financial sector,” but scored well on “economic measurements,” “national income determination,“ and “economic growth.”For AP Macroeconomics, I’ll report on the two versions of the exam taken by large numbers of students: first the “Set 1” questions (https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-macroeconomics-set-1.pdf) then the “Set 2” questions (https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-macroeconomics-set-2-0.pdf)
  • “Set 1” results: students demonstrated steady performance across all 3 questions, with about 25% of students earning the two highest points possible on each question.
  • “Set 2” results: students scored very high on Q3 (production of food / capital goods) but many really struggled with Q2 (US dollar vs Euro).
  • Overall, the Set 2 questions proved to be slightly easier than the Set 1 questions, so to ensure the standards are the same regardless of which version a student takes, students who had the Set 2 questions must earn 2 more points on the 90-point scale to earn an AP 3+.
Microeconomics 22.2% 28.4% 17.8% 12.4% 19.2% Jun 12
  • This year’s AP Microeconomics scores break the record for highest-ever scores in this subject. An astonishing half of them achieved 4s and 5s this year. Impressive work, AP Micro teachers and students!
  • Out of ~66,000  students worldwide, 35 so far this year have earned all 90/90 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Students scored exceptionally well on multiple-choice questions about “production and costs,” and struggled somewhat on questions about “firm behavior and mkt structure.”
  • I’ll report on the two versions of the exam taken by large numbers of students: first the “Set 1” questions (https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-microeconomics-set-1.pdf?course=ap-microeconomics) then the “Set 2” questions (https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-microeconomics-set-2.pdf?course=ap-microeconomics).
  • “Set 1” results: student performance on Q1 (monopoly) and Q3 (oligopoly/game theory) was solid; many found Q2 (consumer theory) very challenging; it was the most difficult aspect of this year’s exam.
  • “Set 2” results: students scored very high on Q3 (profit maximizing; 32% of students earned 6/6 pts on it), and also had solid performance on Q1 and Q2 (supply/demand).
  • Overall, the Set 2 questions proved to be slightly easier than the Set 1 questions, so statistical analysis determined that students who had the Set 2 questions must earn 3 more points on the 90-point scale to earn an AP 3+.
Music Theory 20.9% 18.0% 24.5% 23.6% 13.0% Jun 26
Physics 1 - Algebra Based 6.2% 17.8% 20.6% 29.3% 26.1% Jun 13
  • Overall, this year’s AP Physics 1 students demonstrated significantly stronger understanding and skills than prior groups; accordingly, there’s a significant increase in the percentage of students earning 3s, 4s, and 5s, the highest scores yet on this exam.
  • 3 students, out of ~170,000 worldwide, earned all 80/80 points on this year’s AP Physics 1 exam.
  • Multiple-choice: no significant variation in performance across topics and skills; “wave models and applications” had slightly higher scores than questions on the other big ideas; “interactions between systems” had slightly lower.
  • Free-response: students scored best on Q1 (kinematics, collisions, angular momentum), but also scored quite well on Q3 (experimental design, energy). https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/apc/ap19-frq-physics-1.pdf
  • Performance: the biggest barrier to higher performance remains Q4, which requires students to write a paragraph explaining a physics concept. 20,000 students earned high scores on this question; 40,000 didn’t even attempt it, scoring 0/7 pts.
  • Students need more support developing and practicing the conceptual understanding of physics required for scores of 3+; to help we’re providing a free AP Physics 1 workbook, student and teacher editions available on our website for AP teachers to download from mid-July.
  • The new AP Physics 1 workbook contains 150 new & unique scenarios, for all units in the course, for use as classwork, homework, group assignments or quizzes. Also, from Aug 1, we’re providing free online practice students can access on their phones for every topic in the class.
Physics 2 - Algebra Based 12.6% 19.8% 31.1% 27.8% 8.7% Jun 13
  • This is the 5th year of the AP Physics 2 exam, & each year, student learning & achievement has increased, from ~8% scores of 5 in 2014 to ~12.6% scores of 5 this year. In other words: this year’s AP Physics 2 students have achieved the highest % of scores of 3+ yet for this exam.
  • 1 student, out of ~25,000 worldwide, earned all 80/80 points possible on this year’s AP Physics 2 exam.
  • AP Physics 2 multiple-choice: students demonstrated solid work on “wave models and applications” and “conservation laws” and strong skills in “data analysis and understanding.” Lowest scores were on “interactions between objects” and “plans/implements data collection.”
  • AP Physics 2 free-response: students triumphed over Q2 on circuits. Nearly 20% earned all 12/12 points possible on it. Nice work. The most difficult question was Q4 on optics/fluids/thermal; the mean score was 3.7 out of 10 pts possible.https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-physics-2.pdf?course=ap-physics-2
Physics C E&M 34.6% 22.6% 13.9% 17.8% 11.1% Jun 13
Physics C Mech. 35.9% 27.2% 18.0% 10.4% 8.4% Jun 13
  • Yet another subject breaks a record this year: AP Physics C: Mechanics students have earned the highest scores this decade, ~36% (!) scoring a 5, compared to ~27% a decade ago. More than 80% scored 3+. Congrats and thanks. Our infrastructure, current and future, needs you.
  • 1 student so far, out of ~58,000 worldwide, achieved all 90/90 points possible on this year’s AP Physics C: Mechanics exam.
  • I’ll report on the two sets of AP Physics C: Mechanics questions taken by the largest number of students. Here are links to the free-response questions in those sets -- “Set 1”: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-physics-c-mech-set-1-0.pdf and “Set 2”: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-physics-c-mech-set-2.pdf
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics free-response results: in both sets, question 3 was somewhat more challenging for students than 1 & 2. Set 2 was slightly easier than Set 1, so Set 2 students must earn 3 more points than Set 1 students to earn a score of 3+.
Psychology 20.2% 25.4% 18.8% 13.7% 22.0% Jun 21
  • This year’s AP Psychology students demonstrated slightly weaker knowledge and skills than last year’s, so scores, while still quite high, are lower than in 2018.
  • I’ll report AP Psychology results, when they are different, for two of the several versions of the exam -- “Set 1” and “Set 2 – taken by most students. The “Set 1” released questions: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-psychology-set-1.pdf. The “Set 2” released questions: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-psychology-set-2.pdf.
  • The Set 2 AP Psychology questions proved statistically more difficult than the Set 1 questions, so the Set 2 questions require 7 fewer points to earn a 3 than the Set 1 questions.
  • AP Psychology multiple-choice: students generally performed well across questions on all topics except “biology / sensation & perception / consciousness.” The free, new resources, available Aug 1 for teachers to assign, provide much support for student learning of such content.
  • AP Psychology Set 1, FRQ2: 15% of students could apply 5-7 of the concepts to the scenario; on the flip side, 18% of students could apply none of them.
  • AP Psychology Set 2, FRQ2: 8% of students could apply 5-7 of the concepts to the scenario; on the flip side, 20% of students could apply none of them.
Spanish Language 24.9% 34.6% 29.5% 9.3% 1.7% Jun 27
  • This year’s AP Spanish Language and Culture students demonstrated stronger proficiency than last year’s, so there’s a significant boost in the percentage of students earning a 5, even as teachers expanded access to ~12,000 more students.
  • 9 students so far this year, out of ~192,000 worldwide, have earned all 130/130 points possible on this year’s  exam.
  • Students scored highest on the persuasive essays they wrote on the theme: “¿Qué opción es mejor para los niños: la asistencia a la escuela convencional o la educación en casa?” 45% of students scored 4-5 pts out of 5 possible.
  • The most challenging task on the  exam for many students was the oral presentation on housing (FRQ4). 13% earned 4-5 points; 2% earned 0 points. https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-spanish-language.pdf
Spanish Literature 9.1% 24.4% 38.4% 21.9% 6.2% Jun 19
  • This year’s AP Spanish Literature students generally demonstrated strong reading and analytic skills, significantly increasing the number earning scores of 3+.
  • Multiple-choice: Students scored highest on questions about the readings that were not on the required list, and least well (as in prior years) on critical commentary questions. The free, new resources (available Aug 1) can help with this.
  • Students generally scored lowest on Q3, the analysis of San Manuel Bueno, mártir, but scored very well on Q1 (Alfonsina Storni) and Q2 (the text / art comparison): https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-spanish-literature.pdf?course=ap-spanish-literature-and-culture
Statistics 14.5% 18.0% 26.7% 19.7% 21.1% Jun 26
  • In AP Statistics this year, there was an increase in high performance and a significant decline in low performance, even as teachers expanded access to 4,000 more students. The result: more 5s, fewer 1s; in the middle, increases in 2s & 3s, decreases in 4s.
  • 10 students so far this year, out of ~225,000 worldwide, achieved all 100/100 points possible on this year’s exam. (Last year: 1 student got a perfect score.)
  • Multiple-choice: as is always the case, students scored much higher on questions about sampling & experimentation than about probability & simulation and statistical inference; to increase 3s,4s,5s, the free, new resources will provide help with these topics.
  • Free-response questions: students generally scored best on Q2 (sampling & experimentation): https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/ap19-frq-statistics.pdf
  • AP Statistics Q3 (probability & simulation) can be used to predict your score: it’s a tough 3-part question, so generally: students who can answer 1 part are earning a 3, students answering 2 parts are earning a 4, and students answering all parts correctly are earning a 5.
  • AP Statistics Q6 (statistical inference) is the most difficult on the test, designed to identify A and B students in college; students who can answer part a are often receiving a 4; students who can answer more than part a are often receiving a 5.
United States History 12.1% 18.7% 23.5% 22.0% 23.7% Jun 21
  • Wow. The 2019 AP US History scores are the largest one-year increase in student mastery I’ve seen in APUSH, the highest % of 5s in the past decade + significant increases in 3s and 4s as well. Nice work, APUSH teachers and students.
  • 12 students so far this year, out of ~215,000, have earned all 140/140 points possible on this year’s exam.
  • Multiple-choice questions: students generally scored higher on questions about 19th/20th centuries than about periods 1-3 (prior to 1800).
  • Short answers: students generally scored very high on Q2 (Manifest Destiny); 30% earned 3/3 points on it. This said, student performance across every one of the short answer questions was solid.
  • DBQ: 65% of students earned the thesis point; 34% earned the contextualization point; 7% earned all 3 evidence points, 31% earned 2 evidence points, & 45% earned 1 evidence pnt; 4% earned both analysis pnts, and 21% earned one analysis pnt. Improvements over 2018!
  • AP US History Long Essay: 3x more students chose Q3 (slavery debates) than Q2 (ideas of self-government, 1754-76) or Q4 (African-American Civil Rights movement); scores were generally higher on Q2 and Q3 than Q4. lhttps://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap19-frq-us-history.pdf?course=ap-united-states-history
World History 8.7% 19.0% 28.3% 28.9% 15.1% Jun 17
  • This year’s AP World History performance is very similar to last year’s. It’s remarkable that AP teachers maintained that level of performance while providing ~20,000 more students with the opportunity to take this college-level course.
  • 1 student so far this year, out of more than 300,000 worldwide, earned all 140/140 points possible on this year’s exam. I can’t wait to send her/him a letter, as I’ve never before seen anyone earn every point possible on this vast exam.
  • Multiple-choice: students scored well across multiple-choice topics: highest on questions about periods 1-2 (to 600 C.E.) and lowest (but still solid) on questions about period 6 (1900-present).
  • DBQ: 68% of students earned the thesis point; 27% earned the contextualization point; 3% earned all 3 evidence points, 27% earned 2 evidence points, and 62% earned 1 evidence point; 0.4% of students earned both analysis points, and 8% earned 1 analysis point.
  • Many students really struggled with the short answer questions: Q1 (34% scored 0); Q2 (15% scored 0); Q3 (27% scored 0); Q4 (39% scored 0). To boost the % of exams earning credit, more students will need to be able to answer these as college students do.
  • Long essays: students choosing Q4 (20th C economic policies) generally scored highest, followed by Q2 (empires/trade), w/ lowest scores generally on Q3 (many students wrote about the industrial revolution rather than the specified timeframe of 600 – 1450 CE).