Here’s the AP Review schedule for the Spring of 2014. This is a first draft and some tweaking will almost certainly need to take place in the next four and a half weeks, but this will give a solid feel to what will be happening with my students between now (April 3rd) and May 5th.
Context is important, and there are some things to note.
Traditionally I have allowed a total of four, full weeks for review at the end of the course. This year, my school has a new schedule of a seven day rotation (A-G). This means that after allowing for the Good Friday and Easter Monday vacations, that there are three, full rotations between April 3rd and May 5th, adding up to 18 school days when I meet each of my AP classes (each AP class meets on six out of every seven days).
I remain firmly of the opinion that the most effective review is that which involves the use of old AP questions. There is only ONE way that the students will ultimately be assessed, so why not concentrate ones efforts on reviewing via the ultimate assessment tool? Of course, in the Spring of 2014 this presents a unique problem. Since we have so little to go on in terms of exam questions in the new style, what can we do? Well, the answer is not much. Outside of constantly reiterating to the students that the exam questions that they have been seeing this year will likely look and feel a lot different on those that they see on May the 5th, there is not much else that we can do. I will of course utilize the electronic exam that comes with this book, and will utilize the single, practice exam that the College Board has released, and will utilize the new Flinn, free-response booklet, and I will write my own, ‘new’ questions, but in the end, any questions not generated by the College Board are guesswork, and we are at the mercy of our ‘masters’.
Here are a few notes about some of the specifics that you see in the schedule above.
The ‘scrubbed’ MCQ’s – are selections from the old AP MCQ exams in 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2008, 2008 March Practice Exam and 2013 College Board scrubbed exam, and will continue to feature 5 answer options during my review sessions. However, I have either eliminated irrelevant questions (for example any relating to quantum numbers or phase diagrams) or perhaps added notes to make sense of some questions to update them for 2014 (for example, giving a solubility rule where it was once expected knowledge but is no longer required of the students).
Flinn Q’s – taken from the new ‘Explain & Predict’ booklet from Flinn.
The data driven MCQ’s – where I have complied question sets with relatively large amounts of data (tables, text, diagrams etc.) to reflect the new style – these have 4 answer choices.
EFH – ‘Exam from Hell’! This is my interpretation of a ‘worst case scenario’ in terms of new, odd and nasty topics. Look out for (amongst others) coupling reactions, enzyme catalysis, weird PES and something about work – YIKES!
Odd/New Topic Review – this includes a review of the odd, new and new-emphasis content (as I see it) from the new course. Snippets on chromatography, surface tension, capillary action, biological applications, particulate diagrams, Coulomb’s law, Beer’s law, work etc., will feature, but PES and Mass Spec are reviewed separately and in a little more depth. There’s a relationship between this stuff and EFH.
Lab Situations – a summary discussion of lab situations chapter of my book, which is based upon the College Board lab manual, with illustrative FRQ’s of exam situations.
Homework – old AP FRQ’s that target areas that the review program does not.