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Strategies for Success in AP® Sciences

For new and experienced AP teachers

Workshop description

AP Chief Reader reports show that year after year, students commit the same errors and omissions on the AP Exam. This workshop is designed to give AP science teachers strategies to enable their students to succeed in advanced-level course work. Participants will learn how to help their students develop academic vocabulary, make meaning of difficult text through close reading, and provide meaningful answers to difficult and complex questions. Participants will leave the workshop with strategies they can immediately implement in their AP curriculum.

Workshop goal

Participants will learn strategies for enabling their students to succeed in advanced-level course work.

Learning outcomes

Participants will:

  • Examine trends in the Chief Reader reports and develop a list of common student errors and omissions on the AP science exams.
  • Learn how to help students articulate and support complex ideas through a discussion of prewriting and problem-solving strategies.
  • Create AP-style exam questions and rubrics that they can use to help prepare their students to successfully answer free-response questions.


  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. The Needs of Today’s AP Students
  3. Analyzing the Structure of the Chief Reader Report
  4. Trends in Student Errors and Omissions, and Instructor Recommendations
  5. Close Reading of Exam Questions
  6. Identifying Academic Vocabulary
  7. RADAR
  8. Developing Scoring Criteria
  9. Revising Assessment Questions
  10. Strategy Plan