AP FRQ "Scoring Guidelines"


As I prepare my Unit 9 AP Prep lessons I have a question about the FRQ’s that has been bothering me all year. After every FRQ we give students scoring guidelines to assess their work. There are a lot of opportunities where students can earn points even if their solution is not 100% correct, but they only find out about these opportunities after they get the scoring guideline. Since this is my first year teaching CSA can anyone tell me whether the AP FRQs tell students the criteria for which they will be assessed or do they just get the problem and have to make their best guess as to what needs to be included in their solution? This feels like telling students they will be graded using a rubric but they aren’t allowed to see the rubric until after they have completed their work…?

Hi @cshuptrine, this is a question I have also struggled with when prepping my students for the AP test. You are correct. Students are presented with questions only on the AP test, and not the scoring guidelines/ rubric. I’m looking forward to seeing what our community comes up with as far as strategies to prepare our students for this scenario.

I’ve often prepped my students with practice similar to how the Code.org curriculum suggests. I will give them a previously used FRQ from the college board and then we will take about 20 - 25 min for one question and then I give them the rubric/ scoring guidelines. We go over how the question is scored and for practice, I have them self asses and work with a partner(s) to go work through how they would be scored and how to improve their score. Then we have a whole class discussion about ways to approach FRQ questions of that particular type.

The AP test always has the same type of question being asked on the FRQ (course and exam description p. 187):

My hope is that if we get enough reps in, kids will start to look out for common trends presented with these question topics and be able to approach these questions with confidence.

Hope this helps or at least prompts some ideas for AP test prep. I know I mentioned this earlier but I really hope others jump in with their suggestions.


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@cshuptrine - Hi Carl, if you are looking for the scoring rubrics for the FRQ’s, here’s a reference you can use.