Test Information (from ap college Board)



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Your AP Exam is May 1st!
Name: ___________________________________________
What to Expect on the AP Exam??

Test Information (from AP College Board)


The AP Environmental Science Exam is 3 hours long and is divided equally in time between a multiple-choice section and a free-response section.
The multiple-choice section, which constitutes 60 percent of the final grade, consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that are designed to cover the breadth of the students’ knowledge and understanding of environ mental science. Thought-provoking problems and questions based on fundamental ideas from environmental science are included along with questions based on the recall of basic facts and major concepts. The number of multiple-choice questions taken from each major topic area is reflected in the percentage of the course as designated in the topic outline. You will NOT be penalized for incorrect multiple choice answers!
The free-response section emphasizes the application of principles in greater depth. In this section, students must organize answers to broad questions, thereby demonstrating reasoning and analytical skills, as well as the ability to synthesize material from several sources into cogent and coherent essays. Four free-response questions are included in this section, which constitutes 40 percent of the final grade: 1 data-set question, 1 document-based question, and 2 synthesis and evaluation questions.
To provide maximum information about differences in students’ achievements in environmental science, the exam is designed to yield average scores of about 50 percent of the maximum possible scores for both the multiple-choice and free-response sections. Thus, students should be aware that they may find the AP Exam more difficult than most classroom exams. However, it is possible for students who have studied most but not all topics in the outline to obtain acceptable grades. The use of calculators is not allowed on either section of the exam.

Useful Websites/More Information


  • Barron’s AP Environmental Science Sample Test: http://barronsbooks.com/ap/envsci/

    • An online, free resource that allows you to take a practice AP test (timed or practice mode… your choice). You also have access to the answers, which are explained in detail for you. If you are taking the AP test, you should be utilizing this resource.

  • AP Environmental Science Course Home Page: https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse/ap-environmental-science

  • More test practice, including sample multiple choice questions and released essay questions: https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse/ap-environmental-science/exam-practice

  • Over 1,000 review terms to check out: http://quizlet.com/22166548/ap-environmental-science-vocabulary-list-flash-cards/.

  • Albert.io – review material you struggled with by answering sample questions

  • Free AP Study Resources: http://www.appracticeexams.com/ap-environmental-science

    • Practice Exams

  • Calculating your score: http://appass.com/calculators/environmentalscience

    • Warning, this seems to overestimate your scores slightly…

Some Tips:


  • Explain technical terms when you use them in an answer. Dropping in terms like "bioaccumulation" without demonstrating an understanding of the term will not earn any credit.

  • Restating the question is a waste of time in a timed test and doing so will never earn any points.

  • When questions ask the students to "describe," "discuss," or "explain," you should go beyond listing and identifying. Students who use outline form, or one- or two-word answers, do not demonstrate the depth of their knowledge.

  • Be familiar with formulating hypotheses, and deciding whether a particular experimental design will test a stated hypothesis.

  • Some hints from College Board:

    • Before beginning to solve the free-response questions, it is a good idea to read through all of the questions to determine which ones you feel most prepared to answer. You can then proceed to solve the questions in a sequence that will allow you to perform your best.

    • Monitor your time appropriately on the free-response section. You want to ensure that you do not spend too much time on one question that you do not have enough time to at least attempt to answer all of them.

    • Show all the steps you took to reach your solution on questions involving calculations. If you do work that you think is incorrect, simply put an "X" through it, instead of spending time erasing it completely.

    • Many free-response questions are divided into parts such as a, b, c, and d, with each part calling for a different response. Credit for each part is awarded independently, so you should attempt to solve each part. For example, you may receive no credit for your answer to part a, but still receive full credit for part b, c, or d. If the answer to a later part of a question depends on the answer to an earlier part, you may still be able to receive full credit for the later part, even if that earlier answer is wrong.

    • Organize your answers as clearly and neatly as possible. You want to label your answers according to the sub-part, such as (a), (b), (c), etc. This will assist you in organizing your thoughts, as well as helping to ensure that you answer all the parts of the free-response question.

    • You should include the proper units for each number where appropriate. If you keep track of units as you perform your calculations, it can help ensure that you express answers in terms of the proper units. Depending on the exam question, it is often possible to lose points if the units are wrong or are missing from the answer.

    • You should not use the "scattershot" or “laundry list” approach: i.e., write a many equations or lists of terms hoping that the correct one will be among them so that you can get partial credit. For exams that ask for TWO or THREE examples or equations, only the first two or three exams will be scored.

    • Be sure to clearly and correctly label all graphs and diagrams accordingly. Read the question carefully, as this could include a graph title, x and y axes labels including units, a best fit line, etc.

How Your Test Will Be Scored


Below is a sample scoring worksheet that may be used on the AP 1998 Environmental Science Released Exam (which can be found at: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/213053.html).

  • The worksheet found within the printed book itself should not be used because beginning with the May 2011 administration of AP Exams, the method for scoring the multiple-choice section has changed. Beginning in 2011, total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are no longer deducted for incorrect answers and, as always, no points are awarded for unanswered questions.

The maximum possible weighted score on Section I is 90 points, and it accounts for 60 percent of the maximum possible composite score.

To give you an idea of your performance based entirely on the multiple choice score (calculated from Weighted Section I Score from previous page), you may use the table below, which shows the percentage of students receiving each AP score for a given range of multiple-choice scores.






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