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AP United States Government and Politics College Comparability Study 2008. A Presentation and Discussion at the 2008 AP Annual Conference Seattle, WA, July 19, 2008 Ed Wagner Educational Testing Service. Why do we do comparability studies?.

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ap united states government and politics college comparability study 2008

AP United States Government and Politics College Comparability Study 2008

A Presentation and Discussion at the 2008 AP Annual Conference

Seattle, WA, July 19, 2008

Ed Wagner

Educational Testing Service

why do we do comparability studies
Why do we do comparability studies?
  • To create a better fit between college-level grading standards and AP standards
  • To improve the validity of AP exams and courses
how is the study performed
How is the study performed?
  • College students are given a mini-version of the exam (20 multiple choice questions and one free response question)
  • Their instructors grade the exams on the A-F scale
  • AP readers grade the college essays using the same standards as regular AP essays
  • Statisticians extrapolate an AP grade for each college student and compare it to that student’s college grade
ap us government and politics comparability study sample size
AP US Government and Politics Comparability Study: Sample Size
  • 23 colleges/universities
  • 1,171 college participants
slide5
Temple University

University of Georgia

University of Florida

Old Dominion University

City University of New York

Valparaiso University

Hofstra University

University of Oklahoma

Roger Williams University

Gustavus Adolphus College

Swarthmore College

DePauw University

University of Memphis

University of New Orleans

University of Maryland

University of Louisville

University of Pittsburgh

Idaho State University

Texas Southern University

Wheaton College

Macon State University

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of New Mexico

Who participated in the 2008 study for AP US Government and Politics? Roughly 1,200 students taking Intro to US Government at 23 colleges:

composite scores corresponding to each letter grade 120 point scale
Composite Scores Corresponding to Each Letter Grade (120-point scale)

*Cases of college students to whom professors assigned an F for either the exam or the course were removed from the analysis

what were the results of the study
What were the results of the study?
  • AP students at the 5-4 cut point scored higher than the average score earned by a college student at the A level
  • AP students at the 4-3 cut point scored higher than the average score earned by a college student at the B level
  • AP students at the 3-2 cut point scored higher than the average score earned by a college student at the C level
  • AP students at the 2-1 cut point scored higher than the average score earned by a college student at the D level
percentage of students earning each ap grade
Percentage of Students Earning Each AP Grade

* Percentages based on most but not all of the 2008 data

what are the implications of the study for the future of ap us government and politics
What are the implications of the study for the future of AP US Government and Politics?
  • The study indicated no serious discrepancy between AP US Government and Politics course content and grading standards and standards used by college courses in the survey
what can ap us government and politics teachers do
What can AP US Government and Politics teachers do?
  • Keep doing what they’re doing!
  • Pay close attention to the course description and supporting materials
  • Work on developing students’ writing and analytic skills