AP Plagiarism and teacher expectations


I just read the AP requirements for teachers with regards to reporting plagiarism. What is still unclear to me is if this applies to things we happen to notice as we are checking over docs before submitting them, or are they actually looking for us to scour for plagiarism?

The former seems simple enough and appropriate, but the latter seems beyond the scope of expectation for a teacher confirming uploaded documents.



Based on the email we received from the college board, we should check to see that the documents are accurately labeled, match the performance tasks and in the correct format. We should also check the documents for references (acknowledging the third-party sources) and if they are missing, notify the College Board. We also need to provide evidence of the plagiarism.


To be more explicit, no, you don’t have to scour for plagiarism. In the “purple book”, that is not listed as a “teacher must” (page 76-77 and 82-83 of The Purple Book)

However you must check to make sure your students do not use practice performance tasks from your class (yes, that means they may not use their “Clicker Game” as their Create PT). The Purple Book states that teachers “may not” let students submit practice PTs. I believe students are allowed to make independent modifications and use those, but I think the intention is that students don’t claim as independent work the stuff they created while having the benefits of collaboration, teacher assistance, and feedback (as they likely had with their practice PTs). For example, the way I interpret it, the student can independently add features to their “Clicker Game” and reference those parts for their Create PT, but they cannot claim any part of the original assignment or modifications made as part of the original assignment to be the work they feature for the Create PT.

If you happen to stumble on plagiarism, the College Board instructions are to report it as plagiarism (with evidence, as Terence mentioned), as opposed to returning the work to the student - that is not an allowable reason to return student work.


Thank you @terence.stone25 and @frank_w_lee for your responses. I think I get the distinction.

Without detailed research on the teacher’s part, it may be challenging to notice missing references. I will take your responses and advice to help inform what I need to do.



Can you grade the explore task as an assessment and give them feedback via the rubric? Or is it considered getting help from the teacher?


That’s a definite no - teachers “may not… suggest answers or provide feedback on answers to prompts”. Giving them a grade is considered feedback, as is any qualitative/verbal/written comments, suggestions, evaluative remarks, etc.


I want to add on to what Frank said, @choster - that is a definite no, however, after students have submitted the final draft AND the April 30th deadline has passed, you could grade assessments yourself however you like. The important thing is that they do not get feedback or grades before they submit the final artifact.


I finished grading the Explore for this year which I will put in a grade after April 30th, just like I did last year. All students submitted to the Digital Portfolio in January. This year, I found 2 that blatantly plagiarized their answers. (I could tell and also use a “turnitin”) Now what do I do? Do I turn them in to the College Board? For all those teachers not grading their projects or waiting until after April 30th, how will you be able to report plagiarism? I don’t want to report them. Can I leave it up to the readers?



I am not sure if I can guarantee all my students have not plagiarized (especially those that wait until the last minute to finalize) but if I suspected it, I would feel obligated to report it. This puts us in a tough position. However, I think it is important that my students hear the message from me first. It is important lesson to learn and the earlier they learn it the better.

Hope that helps,


I did have to report a student last year for plagiarism. It was tough. I had warned all of the students that I was required to do that.


I have told my students that I am required to report any suspected plagiarism. I have explained how the CB will compare written prompts and code to known data bases such as github, bitbucket, and stack over flow, as well as comparing all submissions to other student submissions. I have assured my students that the CB knows how to use modern computer science to statistically analyze the probability of plagiarism and “excessive collaboration.” I have also emphisized that the students should err on the side of over citation.