By Heavyn Hilton
The College Board recently decided to make changes to current Advance Placement (AP) tests, including Physics, United States (U.S.) History, and Computer Science exams.
The AP Physics AB test will be more of an algebraic test, fewer terms and more numbers. Essentially, this is supposed to provide a more general view of physics that most students will take in college.
Most teachers are not discouraged by these new changes, and the changes will not interfere much with their overall teaching style. With the new test in mind, classes are supposed to take a more interactive-mathematical thinking route. Labs will be done 25% of the time, in order to allow students to observe what they’re learning and watch as their calculations turn into a chemical based reality.
Physics is not going to be the only interactive class. The AP U.S. History class is going to require a lot more talking. The content remains the same; the only difference is the structure in which history will be taught. Most teachers structured their classes to lectures and note-taking rather than what the College-Board is looking for. They are aiming for more historical thinking skills, which involve chronological reading, comparison and contextualization, and other skills.
There are no major changes to the class; most teachers will not have to make any drastic changes except get their classes more involved in discussion.
“I think its way easier for the students now,” John. Yamazaki, AP U.S. History teacher said. “The new test is structured kind of like a World History class,” continued Yamazaki.
Multiple choice is being reduced from 80 questions to 55 but will be more intense and require critical thinking. The test is going to require more written input as the College-Board is requiring longer essays. Students no longer have to worry about scoring a 9 as the highest score has been reduced to 7.
Students can expect to find changes that will ensure they provide more insight into the subjects students signed up for, a college class. Teachers are ready to prepare their students for the new changes and hope to bring about good results for 2014-2015 AP testing.