AP Environmental Science

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Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science (also known as APES, AP Enviro, AP Environmental, AP Environment, or AP EnviroSci) is a course and exam offered by the American College Board as part of the Advanced Placement Program to high school students interested in the environmental and natural sciences. AP Environmental Science was first offered in the 1997–1998 school year.

Course[edit]

This course is designed to provide students with scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies necessary to comprehend the relationships abundant within the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems, to evaluate relative risks associated with these identified problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing similar problems facing the global environment.[1]

Topics covered in AP Environmental Science[2] as of Fall 2019 include:

Unit Topic Exam Weighting
1 The Living World: Ecosystems 6-8%
2 The Living World: Biodiversity 6-8%
3 Populations 10–15%
4 Earth Systems and Resources 10–15%
5 Land and Water Use 10–15%
6 Energy Resources and Consumption 10-15%
7 Atmospheric Pollution 7-10%
8 Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollution 7-10%
9 Global Change 15-20%

Topics covered in AP Environmental Science prior to Fall 2019 include:

Topic Percent
Earth Systems and Resources 10–15%
The Living World 10–15%
Population 10–15%
Land and Water use 10–15%
Energy Resources and Consumption 10–15%
Pollution 25–30%
Global Change 10–15%

Exam[edit]

The AP Environmental Science exam is divided into a multiple choice and free response section.

Old exam (1998–2019)[edit]

The old exam was 3 hours long and contained two sections:

  • Section I: Multiple Choice (100 questions, 90 minutes).
  • Section II: Free-Response (one data-set question, one document-based question, and two synthesis and evaluation questions, 90 minutes).

Current exam (2020–present)[edit]

As of fall 2019, multiple changes have been made to the AP Environmental Science exam. These changes include but are not limited to: allowed calculator use, changes in the number of multiple choice questions, the use of stimuli in multiple choice questions, and changes in free response questions.
According to the College Board: "The exam is 2 hours and 40 minutes long and includes 80 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response questions. A four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator is allowed on both sections of the exam."[3] The new exam contains two sections with slight changes:[4]

  • Section I: Multiple Choice (80 questions, 90 minutes).
  • Section II: Free-Response (one investigation design question, one solution to an environmental problem proposal question, and one solution to an environmental problem proposal question with calculations, 70 minutes).

Grade distribution[edit]

The percentage of students scoring a grade of "5" was only 6% in the 2021 testing administration. It remains one of the lowest "5" scoring AP Exams to this date right under AP Art History, AP English Literature & Composition, AP English Language & Composition, and AP World History. The AP Environmental Science exam was first administered in 1998.

Grade distributions since 2009 were:

Score 2009[5] 2010[6] 2011[7] 2012[8] 2013[9] 2014[10] 2015[11] 2016[12] 2017[13] 2018[14] 2019[15] 2020[16] 2021[17] 2022[18]
5 10.4% 10.4% 8.9% 8.9% 8.0% 8.3% 7.5% 7.6% 9.5% 8.8% 9.5% 11.9% 6.0% 9.0%
4 20.7% 22.6% 24.8% 24.9% 23.4% 23.6% 24.1% 23.2% 24.5% 23.9% 25.9% 28.5% 24.0% 27.4%
3 18.9% 17.0% 15.6% 16.6% 16.8% 15.3% 15.2% 14.8% 15.4% 15.0% 14.2% 13.0% 18.0% 18%
2 18.5% 18.1% 24.9% 24.3% 25.4% 25.5% 25.5% 25.8% 24.5% 25.8% 25.5% 25.5% 28.0% 25.9%
1 31.5% 32.0% 25.8% 25.3% 26.5% 27.2% 27.7% 28.6% 26.2% 26.5% 24.9% 21.0% 23.0% 20.2%
% of scores 3 or higher 50.0% 50.0% 49.3% 50.4% 48.2% 47.2% 46.8% 45.6% 49.4% 47.7% 49.6% 53.4% 48.0% 53.9%
Mean 2.60 2.62 2.66 2.68 2.61 2.60 2.58 2.55 2.67 2.63 2.70 2.85 2.67
Standard deviation 1.38 1.40 1.33 1.33 1.31 1.32 1.32 1.32 1.34 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.26
Number of students 73,575 86,650 98,959 108,839 118,288 130,321 138,703 149,096 159,578 166,433 172,456 162,469 149,106

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barlaz, Dora; Freudenrich, Craig; Gardner, Jane (2011). AP Environmental Science 2011. New York, New York: Kaplan Publishing.
  2. ^ https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-environmental-science-course-and-exam-description-0.pdf?course=ap-environmental-science[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-environmental-science-course-and-exam-description-0.pdf?course=ap-environmental-science[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "AP Environmental Science: The Course | AP Central – the College Board". 2006-07-10.
  5. ^ http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/ap09_EnvSci_GradeDistributions.pdf 2009 Grade Distribution
  6. ^ http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/2010_EnvSci_Score_Dist.pdf 2010 Grade Distribution
  7. ^ http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/2011_Env_Sci_Score_Dist.pdf 2011 Grade Distribution
  8. ^ "AP Environmental Science Student Score Distributions" (PDF). The College Board. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  9. ^ http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/apcentral/ap13_enviro_sci_ScoringDist.pdf 2013 Grade Distribution
  10. ^ http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2014/STUDENT-SCORE-DISTRIBUTIONS-2014.pdf 2014 Student Score Distributions
  11. ^ https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/research/2015/Program-Summary-Report-2015.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  12. ^ "Student Score Distributions AP Exams - May 2016" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  13. ^ "AP Student Score Distributions – The College Board". apscore.collegeboard.org.
  14. ^ https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/research/2018/Student-Score-Distributions-2018.pdf 2018 AP Score Distributions
  15. ^ "The 2019 AP Environmental Science Scores – Trevor Packer". twitter.com.
  16. ^ "Student Score Distributions" (PDF). Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  17. ^ "Student Score Distributions" (PDF). Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  18. ^ "2022 AP Exam Score Distributions". www.totalregistration.net. 2022-06-23. Retrieved 2022-06-23.

External links[edit]