AP Exam Collaboration


Hi everyone.

Two of my students received a letter saying that their work on the Create Written task portion was not original. I observed them working on it. Any ideas as to what specifically could have been the problem? Do all of the responses need to be different even though they collaborated?

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.



If the code they used was a common code then it was rejected. Also if they wrote the same things it might gotten flagged for plagiarism.


Thank you! It was on the written portion and not the code.


if they turned in identical prompts answers then it would be marked.


Students are not allowed to collaborate on the written response (I believe they stated that more explicitly in the new purple book, as apparently it could’ve been clearer in this past year’s description).

At the AP reading in Kansas City they told us they ran all the PTs through a “Turn-It-In”-like system to check for plagiarism, and it would seem two entries with similar/identical responses could easily be caught by that. Whatever wasn’t flagged was just let through, as far as I know. I read an Explore PT that used similar phrases and ideas as the exemplar about VR (student reference 8GB memory limitation, used the phrase “gobs of data”) - I pointed this out to my table leader and he just shrugged and said “if the system didn’t catch it…”.

As for checking code for plagiarism, I’m not sure how that was done, but some readers were tasked with hand-checking for code plagiarism. My guess is Create readers flagged anything suspicious and it was followed up by the hand-checkers, who trawled the internet, forums, stackexchange, etc. since I saw the hand-checkers googling stuff and reading forum posts with code.



Your students may have submitted code from practice activities in Applab without providing attribution or they wrote about code used to complete an Applab assignment as part of their written response. Although students are encouraged to collaborate with a partner on the Create task, it is important for them to realize that each student needs to have independently created at least one algorithm and one abstraction. This is so that the answers for the written responses (especially 2c and 2d) are unique for each student. It is also important for students to clearly comment their code to acknowledge the creator of code.

I suggested that my students use commenting like:

/*********** START Code from Applab Unit 5 Lesson 10 *************/

/*********** END Code from Applab Unit 5 Lesson 10 *************/

/************ START Code from my partner ******************/

/************ END Code from my partner ******************/

/************ START My Code **********/
// this is the only code I can use for written responses
END My Code ************************/

For most of them, this helped them to realize that they needed to extend their learning and expand on classroom activities. It was not enough to take the basic clicker game from Unit 5 Lesson 5 and remix it with their own theme.



Excellent ideas and explanation. Thx so much


Thanks for your response!


Thank you for the information! Very helpful! Chris