AP exam experience

I’ve been out of blogging commission once again this summer due to being an AP reader all of last week. Hundreds and hundreds of high school and college-level English Composition teachers descended upon Daytona, FL, to read, score, and eat!

The final item on that list should be explained…

It’s wonderful that the Ocean Center provided 3 meals a day; however, after Day 1 of training and grading, I could already tell what one of my table members meant when he said this experience was “like fat camp in reverse.” So much food and soda was constantly at our reach and then, when we had long stretches of grading, there were bowls of candy on our tables to keep our energy up. Now that I am back in Tampa, I’ve already hit the gym this morning and plan to go again tonight—I need to get this “sitting-at-a-table-for-7-days straight” belly off of me. Sure, the candy-eating can justified by the fact one definitely needs energy when reading 1000s of responses to the same question…but lordy!

Speaking of the question, I should say that as someone who never took an AP class and didn’t have much of an idea of what the essay portion of the exam would ask, I was impressed at the questions asked and levels of essays students could produce in a timed setting [and in blue books, not on a computer like I took the GRE a few years ago.]

I was with the group that scored Question 3, which was an argument-based question. In brief, it asked students to form a position on whether or not it was ethical to offer incentives for charitable contributions. Tons of responses referred to canned food drives [one called a “souper bowl” and another described as “5 cans a day keeps the khakis away”], pizza parties, required service hours, bonus points on tests, etc., but the good ones always stood out and made a clear, well-supported position.

I have a feeling I should not divulge more due to the testing confidentiality, but feel free to comment if you’ve scored before or want more information about it.

[picture of grading room to follow]

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