Let’s Get Ready to Test!
Many students struggle with math in science, even in AP science courses! Even though calculators can be used on the APES exam, math skills are still one of biggest weaknesses for students. The scores and data from the exam show many students will skip questions requiring calculations. Being an AP Reader, I have seen for myself that students will forgo trying to answer the math free response questions.
Students are missing out on some of the easiest points to earn when they skip any math problems. There are no facts to memorize. The data is provided in graphs or tables and students must simply set up their work with proper units. Students do not even have to show their work since they can use a calculator. Practicing math skills is imperative in order to improve their confidence when tackling these questions. Working on math skills and techniques is a big focus during AP review.
To prepare my students for the exam, I have selected Math FRQ assignments in Switch Classroom because the format is very similar to what they may see on the exam. The platform makes it incredibly easy for teachers to assign parts of the curriculum they think students need the most and their work can be used in review sessions. Students will work on these questions on their own and we will come together during our 30-minute advisory period built into the school day. In addition to the math questions, students are also assigned content based activities to review some of the more challenging concepts in the course, such as energy production, nonrenewable and renewable energy resources, and air pollution. Here is a sample of what I will be giving my students as part of the exam review:
Content Assignments and Free Response Questions
Math and Calculations Free Response Questions
Having such a wide range of resources and activities housed in one location makes my job easier as I work to prepare my students for the APES exam. It will be great to see how well students perform on the exam, but most especially on the math questions. We will continue to work on these skills up until test day in hopes that each student will feel a little more prepared to tackle these seemingly daunting challenges.
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