Recently, in a post entitled AP Preparation Adequate?, I posted on a concern we have with the way we award credits for exam scores under the AP system. The questions is: How well is the AP system prepping our students for college-level math?
There has always been a concern that many HS programs tend to teach for the exam, devoting much time on problem types and techniques and sacrificing some of the deeper theoretical material development in the process. Here at the university level, where we do not sacrifice the theoretical material, we find the transition for some students to be quite difficult. Anecdotal and personal evidence abounds (my interactions with individual students, for example). Systemic evidence (searching for evidence throughout our service courses) is more difficult to uncover.
The previous post presented an attack to uncover some systemic evidence. This evidence is now leading to a decision by the department to change the policy regarding credit awards.
- instead of offering Calculus I credits for a 4 or a 5 on the AB exam, we will restrict the credit awards to those receiving full marks, or a 5 on the AB exam.
- Instead of offering Calculus II credits for a 4 or a 5 on the BC exam, we will restrict the credit awards to those receiving full marks, or a 5 on the BC exam.
- The award of credits for Calculus I by receiving a 3 or a 4 on teh BC exam will remain in place.