Of course, the question above assumes that you managed to upload files today, and/or that your re-take will go smoothly … but … ignoring that minor detail …

… on the face of it, and on the basis of what we know right now, whatever your score is it will bear virtually zero relation to any AP chemistry score generated previously.

DISCLAIMER: Alright, so I’ll be the first to admit that statistics is not my strong point, and I KNOW that there are a MILLION ways to massage the raw data to allow it to tell you whatever you want it to. I also know that the CB have a small army of people dedicated to such. I am willing to learn, but here’s some simple math that makes me wonder about grade boundaries in 2020. Maybe everything below is flawed, but if it is, I’d love someone to explain it to a statistics simpleton like me.

So, normally on FRQs, 105 mins for 46 points. That means that in 40 mins of testing in 2020, the equivalent number of points is 17.5.

Now, Packer has said that the 2020 questions will be deliberately too long, so let’s be INCREDIBLY generous, and say that the questions will be TWICE as long as they should be. That would mean that 35 points would be available for someone that DID manage to finish all of the questions in the given time. (BREAKING EDIT: Twitter reports that one version of the ‘exam’ had a Q1 with a-l (12 parts), and Q2 with a-h (8 parts) – this is UNCONFIRMED, and I have NOT seen the questions. If this is correct, and IF they are scored in a traditional sense, some of those parts will be worth one point, some worth two points, and perhaps a few worth 3 points. If that’s true, the raw score is likely to be out of approx. 30 points, maybe a few more, I guess).

The approx. usual range per grade boundary is somewhere between 12 and 15% of the points. In 2019, AP teachers determined that the cut off scores were in the region of 50, 65 and 78 for a 3, 4, and 5 respectively, i.e., 50%, 65% and 78%. If we apply those %’s to the potential points of 17.5 (lowest possible end), and 35 (highest possible end), we get the following.

What that means is that in raw score terms, if similar criteria are applied (and I suppose THAT’S the weak spot here), there could be as few as 4.55 points between a 5 and a 4, or even as little as 2.27 points, with similar ranges across other grade boundaries.

Then there’s a whole OTHER, potential problem. For those of you that don’t know, the multiple-choice section of the exam contains 60 questions, but 10 of those questions do not count toward your final score. They exist purely for statistical purposes, that in part, allow grade boundaries to be set each year in order to account for the relative difficulty (or relative ease) of any given exam. Having heard for years and years about the importance of the ten, repeated MCQs in determining grade boundaries, any word on how this will all go down in 2020? No. The data is missing, and we’ve been told since the beginning of time that this data is crucial and central to the process of awarding grades. What gives? There are also at least six or seven versions of the exam out there, with more to come on June 2nd, for a total that will certainly be in the teens, maybe even more. How do we standardize the scoring on that lot? ‘Impossible’.

Now, as I say VERY plainly above, I fully understand that my understanding of this is rudimentary at best, AND I know all kinds of multipliers and jiggery-pokery can be applied to numbers before assessing grade boundaries, but this statistical neophyte is wanting to be schooled – so someone, please go ahead, I’m listening.

In one experienced teacher’s estimation, getting a ‘3’ on the AP chemistry ‘exam’ in 2020 will require a student getting around 35%, of approx. 76% of the content, (units 8 & 9 missing) correct, as opposed to approx. 50% of 100% of the content correct in a ‘normal’ year. This is in addition to the open book nature of the 2020 ‘exam’, AND the fact that students can interact, undetected with whomever they like during this ‘exam’ this year. And some people still think this is a ‘legitimate’ way to assess students, and will comparable to years past? They are delusional.

In 2020 I will NOT report ANY AP scores for my own students, not with asterisks or with disclaimers. I will simply NOT report these (relatively) meaningless scores.