Mention AP World to any tenth grader across the nation and you’ll see them shudder. Just the thought of that thousand page textbook that they must memorize in the course of less than 9 months is enough to terrify any teen. Help is on its way in the form of a new A.P. test. Yes, the College Board (you know them because they’re the ones who also administer the SAT) has decided in its infinite wisdom to improve the Advanced Placement tests so AP courses will slash the amount of material students must learn as well as provide a framework for the courses.
In the January 9, 2011 New York Times Education Life section, the intricacies of the new AP tests are laid out.
“A sweeping redesign of Advanced Placement aims to take the rote out. In biology, that means half the multiple choice questions,” (NY Times).
With over 1.8 million students taking 3.2 million AP tests, this will affect millions of future college applicants.
AP Science and history courses will be impacted the most. They’ll also get the newer test sooner.
In 2012 there will be new tests in AP French, German and World History.
2013 will bring new tests in AP Bio, US History, Latin, and Spanish Lit.
2014 will offer new AP tests in European History and Physics.
2015 will advance new AP tests in Chemistry, Art History and a revision of the other new AP World History test (just in case they didn’t get it right in 2012).
While some may be enthralled with the new test, one Los Angeles teen told me that he thinks the new AP will make it easier as they are eliminating the guessing penalty. Of course all of these new tests means there will be new curriculum for teachers to learn and then to teach the students. The hope is that students will memorize less and be able to think for themselves more. That alone is always a worthy goal.