Multiple Choice #5

AP Language

February 15th, 2011


Multiple Choice #5: 1-13

5, 7, 9

AP Language

May 3rd, 2010

Themes: , ,

I’m not a big fan of playing the numbers game when it comes to your educations. This game draws attention toward the numerical value of assignments1 and away from the stuff you want to know. This is why you cannot do extra work to raise your grade, but are welcome to re-work anything (read: master the material and make an improvement). This is why your practice essays are not in the grade book. This is why your multiple choice tests are not in the grade book. In turning your backs on the (potentially) high-anxiety grading system in favor of one that promotes self-reflection and improvement, you have made great strides in your writing.2 By taking risks and viewing all of your work as steps toward mastery, even if you falter occasionally, you have become true students.3

However, even with that polemic against the current number-centric grading system…

I couldn’t be more excited about those three title numbers. Why, you ask?

Exam Score Avg. Essay
3 7 5
4 9 7
5 10 9

The middle column is based on your previously discussed multiple choice scores. The right column is based on your MC scores from today. Whereas before, the 5 would have been out of your average2 reach, based on the current evidence of your mastery, I’m confident that you will all pass this test with flying colors.

In the past few weeks we have blown through several exams worth of multiple choice questions, learning new vocabulary, reading/skimming skills, and (ugh) test-taking strategies. And it has paid off.


More important, though, you have become engaging writers and skeptical readers. You have the skills to continue learning about arguments, to create your own, and to improve upon those of others. This is a great achievement. I hope you will move forward with these skills and learn with an unceasing eagerness.

Good work, guys.

  1. We’ve discussed the “how many points do I have to score on the final to get an A” game before. []
  2. I realize I’m committing my second least-favorite teacher offense by lumping you all together, but this proud moment wouldn’t be happening if you all hadn’t made some progress. [] []
  3. L. studere, “to be eager, diligent” []

Multiple Choice Update and Synthesis Essay

AP Language

April 16th, 2010

Themes: ,

For those of you who were absent or on the trip (how’d that go?), here is the assignment you should complete before Monday:

You should spend 60 minutes on this assignment. If you have trouble finishing the first section of multiple choice, try reading the questions before reading the passage.

The answer form for the multiple choice questions is here. Let me know if you have problems with the new format; I hope it’s easier on you guys.

They Excelled the Expectations

AP Language

April 12th, 2010

Themes: ,

…and it was good.

Before we dive into the data, know that we will not be writing essays tomorrow. This is primarily to give us a chance to go over the multi choice. (It is also a chance for me to catch up on the grading.) So. Discussion tomorrow, essays Wednesday.

I compiled your multiple choice results in class today. The numbers can tell us what we need to work on.

First up, the relative difficulty of each question:

This simply reports how many people got each question correct. With 19 people reporting, anything under 2 is either a typo by me or a huge oversight in my presentation of the material. Either way, we’ll talk about the types of questions missed tomorrow, and I’ll supplement with one-on-one work or lecture as necessary.

Next up is a chart that can give you all a bit of perspective on your individual progress, as well as a guess of your final score.1 Here’s how it works:


You will note that the first and third need very different test scores (the first needs a 5, 6, 6, while the third needs a 5, 6, 7). Even though the third one only got one fewer correct, he/she missed three more than the first. This is why it is vital to know how good a guesser you are,4 as you can get a better score if you correctly answer all the questions you attempt, even if you don’t finish.

What does this mean overall? We need to work on multiple choice. This doesn’t necessarily mean “do more problems in class” (though that will be a part of it), but it does mean that we need to spend more time parsing the individual questions and working on our weaknesses as a group and individually.

I’ll be posting some online resources as I come across them, and you are more than welcome to take one of the yellow books home to look through the answers after a multiple choice exam.

  1. Of course, I’ve protected your identities by ordering it by grade. []
  2. Glad this isn’t going in the gradebook?? []
  3. number correctnumber incorrect x .25. Actually, I extrapolated these particular numbers from your score and an assumption that the AP test will have 60, not 30, questions. (I multiplied by two.) []
  4. If you’ve been filling out the forms on this site, I can give you a solid answer. If you haven’t, well, guess? []

Multi Choice #12 (13-24)

AP Language

April 9th, 2010