This post was originally published on the HS Bits Blog, which was active from 2008-2013.
It was Christmas in July for me when I received the e-mail informing me that I could check my students’ AP® scores online! Back in April, I was part of the College Board’s Webinar sessions that reviewed the new online service, so naturally, I was eager to see how it all turned out. Mostly, I was excited to be able to see my students’ scores online (rather than having to make a trip to school to get the score report from my registrar)!
I hadn’t realized just how cool it would be to see the scores so quickly. It was July 9 when I received my e-mail indicating the scores had been posted online, a mere three weeks since I had returned from the Reading. Teachers are now privy to the students’ scores before the students receive them. This surprised me, yet I see how this is in line with the College Board's attempt to provide teachers with information they may use to enhance instruction.
The Web site is fairly simple and offers three main features: the subject score roster and two instructional planning sections (one by section, one by school). Since my school does not divide our three AP® Language classes into sections, the two planning sections are identical for me. The score roster is simple: student/score. The instructional planning part provides much the same information that was on the paper reports we used to receive: overall score distributions, multiple-choice section performance, and free-response section performance. All sections provide global comparisons. For student scores, comparisons are by score; for section performance, comparisons are by fourths (highest to lowest fourths).
Though in my Webinar session I expressed a strong desire for an analysis by skill of student performance on the multiple-choice questions, this feature was not included in this year’s report. I hope that the College Board will add that kind of highly specific information in the future. Providing specific skills analysis on a multiple-choice section of an exam is not new for the College Board as this information is provided on the PSAT student report so that students and teachers are able to fine-tune instruction— and ensure that students work harder to learn specific critical skills before they leave our care.
I would love to be able to do the same for my AP® students. Adding this information to AP® English reporting would be a completely new feature, one that I am sure many AP® English teachers would be happy to see. But, given the College Board’s reluctance to release multiple-choice sections from past exams, I would imagine that this would be a huge step for them. It would open up a whole new area of specificity with regards to what is being tested on the multiple-choice section, and perhaps they are just not going to go there?
Like any new site, this one has its glitches and is prone to “processing” requests. More ironing out of these details is hopefully in the works.
But how great is it that even while you’re traveling (and I know of a teacher who was traveling in Guyana when she accessed her AP® scores online!), if you can connect to the Internet, you can get the information you’ve been waiting for all year, just weeks after school has ended and while the students are still so fresh in your heart and mind. We’ve all been rooting for our students to do well, and knowing how well they’ve done so soon is really an exciting addition to our AP® experience.
Did anyone else try online score reporting this year? What did you think?
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