Upcoming AP test updates


Nikhil Warrier

Starting this year, the formats of multiple AP tests have been updated to fit a new standard of college-level learning. Calculus AB and BC, Computer Science Principles, Seminar and World History are all expected to shift into the new standard by the Spring 2017 test dates.

According to The College Board website, the organization hopes to shift the focus of the tests to “[a] greater emphasis on discipline-specific inquiry, reasoning, and communication skills.”

The change are introducing a new framework for the course curriculum, which will allow teachers and students to more clearly focus on their goals for the test.

According to The College Board, “Detailed curriculum frameworks describe the learning objectives that students must master, grouping them into overarching themes and concepts.”

Specific test changes will include:

Calculus AB and BC — Increased focus on conceptual knowledge is the new focus for the two tests. Although no specific types of questions have been removed, new concepts have been introduced. L’Hospital’s Rule (AB) and limit comparison test, absolute and conditional convergence and the alternating series error bound have been added to AP Calculus BC test.

Seminar — The College Board, considering the 2015 test results along with teacher feedback, decided to re-outline the goals of AP Seminar. The new changes are detailed in a course description available to all students and teachers.

World History — The new World History test will focus more on “mastering essential concepts and developing historical thinking skills,” according to The College Board. These changes will build on the changes that were introduced in the 2011-12 school year and will continue to focus on the period-based content the college board outlines.

Along with these changes, the AP U.S. Government and Politics test will undergo an update that will be introduced in the 2017-2018 school year. A new Computer Science Principles course will also be launched in the fall. This new course will focus on the foundational concepts of computer science. The goal of this course is to “prepare students for college and career” by problem-solving and addressing real- world issues. According to the College Board “The AP Computer Science Principles assessment comprises two parts: a through-course AP assessment as well as an end-of-course multiple-choice exam. These changes were also considered with student conceptual knowledge in mind.

Here is the official AP Testing schedule.