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AP® Macroeconomics

Learn all material in the AP® Macroeconomics curriculum from highly regarded AP instructors and college professors.

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About this course

Learn key concepts and AP® Macroeconomics material from top AP instructors, including many of the same high school teachers and college faculty who helped design the AP curriculum in partnership with the College Board.

Each module will cover a major concept in the AP® Macroeconomics course, based on Advanced Placement® standards.

All topics are broken into bite-sized pieces—with short instructional videos, interactive graphs, and practice problems.

Throughout the 18 core modules, you will also find more than 30 short videos. Each one is placed at a critical juncture – ensuring you don’t miss important ideas, definitions and concepts.

Topics include:

This course is specifically designed for blended learning in AP classrooms, but can also be used by AP students independently as supplementary help and exam review.

* Advanced Placement® and AP® are trademarks registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these offerings.

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CliffsNotes AP English Language and Composition

Each of the three AP English Language and Composition essays equals one-third of the total essay score, and the entire essay (free-response) section equals 55% of the total exam score.

Each essay is read by experienced, well-trained high school AP teachers or college professors. The essay is given a holistic score from 1 to 9. (A score of 0 is recorded for a student who writes completely off the topic-for example, "Why I think this test is a waste of money." A student who doesn't even attempt an essay, who leaves a blank page, will receive the equivalent of a 0 score, but it is noted as a dash [-] on the reader's scoring sheet.) The reader assigns a score based on the essay's merits as a whole, on what the essay does well; the readers don't simply count errors. Although each essay topic has its own scoring rubric (or guide) based on that topic's specific information, a general scoring guide for rhetorical analysis and argumentation essays follows. Notice that, on the whole, essay-scoring guides encompass four essential points; AP readers want your essay to be (1) on topic, (2) well organized, (3) thoroughly developed, and (4) correct in mechanics and sophisticated in style.

High Score (8-9)

High-scoring essays thoroughly address all the tasks of the essay prompt in well-organized responses. The writing demonstrates stylistic sophistication and control over the elements of effective writing, although it is not necessarily faultless. Overall, high-scoring essays present thoroughly developed, intelligent ideas; sound and logical organization; strong evidence; and articulate diction.

Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate significant understanding of the passage, its intent, and the rhetorical strategies the author employs.

Argument essays demonstrate the ability to construct a compelling argument, observing the author's underlying assumptions, (addressing multiple authors in the synthesis essay) and discussing many sides of the issues with appropriate evidence.

Medium-High Score (6-7)

Medium-scoring essays complete the tasks of the essay topic well - they show some insight but usually with less precision and clarity than high-scoring essays. There may be lapses in correct diction or sophisticated language, but the essay is generally well written.

Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate sufficient examination of the author's point and the rhetorical strategies he uses to enhance the central idea.

Argument essays demonstrate the ability to construct an adequate argument, understand the author's point, and discuss its implications with suitable evidence. The synthesis argument will address at least three of the sources.

Medium Score (5)

Essays that earn a medium score complete the essay task, but with no special insights; the analysis lacks depth and merely states the obvious. Frequently, the ideas are predictable and the paragraph development weak. Although the writing conveys the writer's ideas, they are presented simplistically and often contain lapses in diction or syntax.

Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate uneven or insufficient understanding of how rhetorical strategies create an author's point. Often, the writer merely lists what he or she observes in the passage instead of analyzing effect.

Argument essays demonstrate the ability to present an argument, but they frequently provide limited and inadequate discussion, explanation, or evidence for the writer's ideas. The writer may not address enough of the sources in the synthesis essay. Oversimplification of the issue(s) minimizes the essay's effectiveness.

Medium-Low Score (3-4)

These essays are weaker than the 5 score because the writer overlooks or perhaps misreads important ideas in the passage. The student may summarize the passage's ideas instead of analyzing them. Although the writer's ideas are generally understandable, the control of language is often immature.

Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate little discussion of rhetorical strategies or incorrect identification and/or analysis of those strategies.

Argument essays demonstrate little ability to construct an argument. They may not clearly identify the author's point, may not present multiple authors' points of view in the synthesis essay, and may offer little evidence for the student's position.

Low Score (1-2)

These essays demonstrate minimal understanding of the topic or the passage. Perhaps unfinished, these essays offer no analysis of the passage and little or no evidence for the student's ideas. Incorrect assertions may be made about the passage. Stylistically, these essays may show consistent grammatical problems, and sentence structure is usually simple and unimaginative.

Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate little ability to identify or analyze rhetorical strategies. Sometimes these essays misread the prompt and replace it with easier tasks, such as paraphrasing the passage or listing some strategies the author uses.

Argument essays demonstrate little ability to understand the author's point (or multiple authors in the synthesis essay) and then construct an argument that analyzes it. Minimal or nonexistent evidence hurts the essay's effectiveness. Some students may substitute an easier task by presenting tangential or irrelevant ideas, evidence, or explanation.

What is the solution for x in the following system of equations?

2 x + 3 y = 42

2 y – 3 x = –19

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AP® English Language

How to score your own ap® english language practice essay.

how_to_score_your_own AP® English language practice essay

Practice makes perfect, which makes completing practice free response questions advantageous to the student. Figuring out how you did; however, is more difficult than it seems. As the writer, you have a certain bias that may make it more difficult to grade your own practice essay, but it can be done. If you remain impartial, follow the AP® English Language free response question rubric , and apply the ideas in this guide.

How to Draft a Response

Before we talk about how to score your essay, we must discuss how to draft a response to the AP® English Language free response questions. The first step is to understand your prompt and passage. Next, you must craft a thesis, or your argument. This is vital, because your entire essay should be based around the claim that you present in the thesis. The thesis should contain a roadmap to the rest of your essay, including your supporting details.

Once you have crafted your thesis, then write a short, quick introduction to that thesis, and insert your thesis after the introduction. This introduction must be concise and supplementary to your argument.

In the body paragraphs the thesis is supported. It is recommended that you do this in three body paragraphs at least. Great ways to do this is by citing proof from the passage or passages and inserting your own logical progression. By utilizing the text you allow yourself to gain credibility as a writer and impress your examiners.

Writing drafts

The student will need to complete the three drafts in two hours and fifteen minutes; therefore, it is imperative that the student follows his or her argument and strongly supports it.

If you are practicing writing these free response questions on your own, then it is recommended that you write in a quiet environment that you cannot be disturbed in. This will allow you to focus on the paper as you would in the test location.

Remaining Impartial and Unbiased

When scoring your own AP® English Language free response question essay (FRQ) it is important to be an impartial and unbiased as possible. Be sure to spend at least half an hour away from the essay. This will allow you to clear your mind and be able to see the various mistakes and improvements that can be made to your essay easier.

The best way to do this is by writing the response in the beginning of the week, and then setting it aside until the end of the week. Once you pick the essay back up at the end of the week, then you can read the free response as if you are an outsider scoring your paper. This simulates an examiner reading your paper as it will be done for the AP® English Language scoring.

Be sure to remember that you should not be too easy on yourself. Growth is important with these practice free response questions, and that cannot be done if you deem your paper “perfect”.

Focusing on the AP® English Language Free Response Question Rubric

The next step in scoring your own free response question is to have the AP® English Language Argument Rubric in front of you as you read your essay. By doing this, you will not diverge from the given requirements of the College Board.

Ask yourself questions or make a checklist that contains all of the elements that you will need.

1. Is your grammar and mechanics confusing?

Always be sure to note this, because if your grammar and mechanics are too sloppy or confusing, then your score will fall to a 2. If your use of language is understood but contains major errors, then you will receive a 4 or 5. If your language is tolerable with minimal errors, then you could receive a 6, 7, 8, or 9 depending on the other elements of your essay.

2. How many supporting details do you have? Is your argument supported?

Your argument must be adequately supported. Do you do this in your essay? If there is no evidence of support, then give yourself a 1. Work on bringing in reasoning skills and pulling evidence from your passage.

If your essay reflects few supporting details, then give yourself a 5. This means that you have an argument and supported it, but there is more to be desired. The audience has not bought into your argument yet.

To be able to score yourself with a higher score, your support must be thorough. Citing from the text is extremely important as well as explaining why that quote supports your argument.

3. Is your evidence convincing?

Convincing evidence goes hand in hand with supporting details. Having convincing evidence means that you have utilized your supporting details and explained why they are important. Your purpose is to persuade, and having convincing evidence is vital. The examiner should not doubt the validity of your interpretation, because your evidence must convince the reader.

In order to get an 8 or 9 on the AP® English Language free response questions , you must find textual evidence, use it, and elaborate on its significance to your argument. The last element is especially important as it is the core of your essay.

If you did not relay the significance of your evidence to the argument at all, then give yourself a 4. This means that you have an argument and you have support, but you have not connected the two yet.

If you did relay the significance to the argument somewhere in the essay, then give yourself 5 to a 7 depending on how often you did this.

4. Is your argument clear?

Clarity goes a long way on the AP® English Language free response questions . Your argument must be elevated to the highest priority and explained. This allows the examiner to have no question of what you are claiming.

If you go back and read your essay to find that you are not sure what the argument is, then give yourself a 2. This means that your essay is unsure in your thesis.

To earn a higher score is to be clearer in your argument. Your thesis statement needs to provide a clear claim that you will see and understand every time you read the essay. An essay with a score of eight or nine is direct in its argument and is not subtle in sharing it with the reader. This is the most effective way of delivering the thesis.

5. Do you utilize your sources?

AP® Exam Dates 2018

There is an essay called the synthesis essay which is within the free response question section of the AP® English Language exam. The synthesis essay rubric dictates that you use at least three of the sources in your essay to get a high score.

If you are writing a synthesis essay and you did not include sources, then give yourself a 2. As you utilize sources proficiently your score will rise. It is recommended to use three or more sources; however, be cautious in using more than five. This will seem excessive and your credibility as a proficient analyst will suffer, because the essay will be predominantly the source material and not your own ideas.

6. Are you off topic?

Staying on topic is essential to the free response questions . Never stray from your argument for any reason, because if you are off topic, then your score will drop to a 3 or even may not be scored at all. If you remain on topic, then you have a chance at a much higher score, which will depend on your use of persuasion.

7. Is your writing effectively persuasive overall?

The purpose for writing the essays for the AP® English Language free response questions is to persuade through argumentation and synthesis. Your use of the English language, however, also plays a role in the effectiveness of your response.

Using rhetorical devices and figurative language takes your essay to the next level, and an examiner may bump your score up a number if you are eloquent enough. Therefore, if your essay is especially convincing in its language usage, then take the overall score and raise it one point.

Tips to Remember

There are some elements to keep in mind when you are scoring your own paper. Remember that examiners love to reward students for what they do well. If you see a point that resonated, then keep that in mind as you score yourself.

It is also important to note that the AP® English Language exam’s free response questions are a long and arduous task if you do not practice beforehand. Practice frequently throughout the year to gain the benefits you need and keep on scoring!

Photo by Popular Science Monthly [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By the way, you should check out Albert.io for your AP® English Language review. We have hundreds of AP® English Language practice questions written just for you!

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AP English Language and Composition Essay Scoring

August 21, 2021.


How AP English Language and Composition Essays are Graded and Scored

When it comes time to make judgments about writing , the word "effectively" comes up repeatedly. It’s a popular word because it’s easy to use. But it’s also hard to define. It means so much, and yet so little. You probably know effective writing when you see it, but what the AP English Language and Composition folks have in mind is the thoughtful organization of ideas, appropriate word choice, proper syntax, varied sentence structure, a mature style of writing, sensible paragraphing, coherent development, and correct mechanics (grammar, spelling, and punctuation).

AP readers don’t sit there with a checklist to see whether your essay meets all these criteria, however. Rather, they read it holistically, meaning that they read it quickly for an overall impression of your writing and then assign your essay a grade from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Readers are trained to look for clearly organized, well-developed, and forceful responses that reveal a depth of understanding and insight. 

Frankly, the 40 minutes suggested for each essay is not a great deal of time to read the question, plan what you will say, write a few hundred words, edit and proofread your draft, and submit a finished piece of work. In effect, you must condense into a short time what would normally take far longer. A saving grace, however, is that the AP test readers don’t expect three polished pieces of immortal prose, just three competently written essays. 

Each year in early June, thousands of college and high school teachers get together to read and evaluate the essays written by students like you from across the country and overseas. Readers are chosen for their ability to make sound judgments about student writing and are trained to use a common set of scoring standards.

Each essay is read by a different reader—an experienced English teacher who doesn’t know your name, your school, your gender, or anything else about you. Nor do readers know the score you earned on other essays or on the multiple-choice questions. They rate essays according to standards that customarily apply to those written in college-level English courses. A score of 1–5 is assigned to each essay, the same scale used to report AP test results. 

As part of their training, AP essay readers are given guidelines to ensure that all essays are evaluated as fairly and uniformly as possible. Readers are instructed: 

Interpreting AP English Language and Composition Essay Scores

What do AP essay scores tell you about your writing? You’ll find some answers below, and you’ll also see what AP essay readers think about while on the job.

Scoring Your Own AP English Lang and Comp Essays

Evaluating your own essays takes objectivity that can’t be acquired overnight. In effect, you’ve got to disown your own work—that is, view it through the eyes of a stranger—and then judge it as though you have no stake in the outcome. A word of caution: Don’t expect to breeze through the evaluations. Set aside plenty of time. Many English teachers vividly recall their snail-like progress as novice essay readers—sometimes spending hours on grading a single essay and rereading it again and again. In short, scoring essays can be challenging, and it takes practice. 

If you accept the challenge, begin by reading the following essay-writing instructions (printed in boldface). On the exam, these instructions are included as part of the prompt for each essay. In effect, they are your essays’ ingredients. Because AP readers will look for evidence that you have followed these instructions as they score your essays, it’s important for you to understand what each one tells you to do.

Essay Grading Tip #1: Respond to the prompt with a thesis that may establish a line of reasoning.

Each of your essays must have a thesis, or main idea. It may be placed anywhere in your essay, and can be built in as a separate sentence, a part of a sentence, or even as pieces of two or more sentences. Sometimes the thesis need not be stated at all if the contents of the essay make the main idea so obvious that it would be redundant to spell it out. 

However you construct the thesis, it must in some way reflect the purpose of the assignment—a different one for each of the essays: 1) to use published sources to support your position on an issue; 2) to analyze the rhetoric in a given passage; and 3) to write a convincing argument backed up by evidence drawn from your reservoir of knowledge and experience. Ideally, the thesis of your essay should be visible to the reader from the start, or at least soon thereafter. 

The thesis may also “establish a line of reasoning.” That is, it may explain how you intend to support your essay’s main idea. For instance, in the synthesis essay, you may plan to discuss the issue by citing ideas drawn from two of the textual sources and by statistics found in a chart or graph. Or, the thesis of your argument essay may state or imply your intention to build a case using evidence based on your reading or perhaps on your observations or personal experience.

(The following instruction applies only to Essay 1, the Synthesis Essay. See 2B for the instruction that applies only to Essays 2 and 3.)

Essay Grading Tip #2a: Provide evidence from at least three of the provided sources to support the thesis.

Indicate clearly the sources used through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Sources may be cited as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the descriptions in parentheses.

Although your thesis may be based on your personal opinion on the issue, build your argument with references to the sources. You needn’t depend solely on the sources with which you agree. By refuting those opposed to your views, you might strengthen your own argument.

(The following instruction applies only to Essays 2 and 3, the Rhetorical Analysis and the Argument. See 2A [above] for the instruction that applies to Essay 1.)

Essay Grading Tip #2b: Select and use evidence to develop and support your line of reasoning.

This instruction reminds you to formulate a claim and support it with convincing and relevant evidence drawn from your studies, reading, observation, and personal experience. You have abundant choices: facts, anecdotes, statistics, analogies, theories, examples, testimonies, expert opinions, your own values and recollections, and more—whatever will bolster your main idea. Each piece of evidence need not be presented as a separate statement. That is, consider blending the evidence gradually into the development of your entire essay.

Essay Grading Tip #3: Explain the relationship between the evidence and the thesis.

Whatever evidence you choose, be sure to explain its pertinence to your thesis. Although the connection may be obvious to you, there is no guarantee that a reader will see it as you do. Connections might be pointed out with stand-alone statements or pronouncements, or less blatantly, by artfully weaving them into the development of the entire essay.

Essay Grading Tip #4: Demonstrate an understanding of the rhetorical situation.

Each of the three essays has a distinct “rhetorical situation,” or purpose. Rather than stating it outright, you might demonstrate your grasp of the rhetorical purpose by implication—that is, simply by fulfilling the assignment. By writing an essay that takes a stand on a particular issue and citing material from three of the given sources, you will have shown comprehension of the Synthesis Essay’s rhetorical situation. Likewise, following the stated instructions for each of the other essays is evidence enough that you’ve understood the rhetorical situation.

Essay Grading Tip #5: Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Use the conventions of standard written English. Unless you need them for effect, avoid street talk, emojis, acronyms, and the abbreviations so common in e-communications.

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