Instructional Planning Reports

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The Instructional Planning Report is a subject-specific report that compares the performance of your students against the global population of test takers, helping you target areas for increased attention and focus in the curriculum.

Interpreting the Report

Score and Quartile Distributions

This report displays your students’ score distribution on the 1–5 score scale compared to the global score distribution. In addition, we evenly divide the total number of exam takers into four quartiles, based on their performance on each section of the exam. We report the percentage of your students that fall within each quartile based on how they performed on each section.

Things to note:

  • Quartiles do not correspond with final AP scores of 1–5.
  • An even distribution of your students across the quartiles means that their performance was comparable to the global population.
  • If your students are grouped predominantly in the higher quartiles, this indicates a higher performance than the global population.

Quartile Performance by Exam Section

This report provides detailed quartile distributions on each section of the exam.

  • For each content area, you will see the maximum possible score, the global mean, and your students’ group mean.
  • The mean score for the content areas will be the average number of multiple-choice questions answered correctly.
    • Individual multiple-choice questions may test more than one content area, so the summation across all content areas may be greater than the number of multiple-choice questions on the exam.
  • Some AP Exams allow students to choose between two or more free response questions.
    • Mean scores are not provided for those questions because the populations of AP students choosing each question when choice is permitted can be quite different.
  • For each content area or free response question, the number of students in your group represents the number that fell into a specific fourth or quartile. The quartiles are derived from dividing the total student population equally into four parts based on their performance in each content area.
  • On AP Biology, Chemistry, Physics 1, and Physics 2 Instructional Planning Reports, science practices are mapped to the question/problem in the free-response section that tested these skills.
  • The Instructional Planning Reports for Courses with Performance Tasks provide detailed quartile distributions across content areas and the AP Seminar End-of-Course Exam.

Courses with Performance Tasks

AP Seminar

This report provides detailed quartile distributions across content areas, performance tasks, and the end-of-course exam. For each reportable area, the number of your students that fell into a specific quartile for each content area or component is indicated.

Related AP Seminar learning objectives are grouped together into seven “content areas”:

  • Understanding and analyzing context
  • Understanding and analyzing argument
  • Analyzing and evaluating evidence
  • Understanding and analyzing perspective
  • Selecting and using evidence
  • Building and communicating an argument
  • Reflection, grammar and style, presentation, collaboration

The reflection, grammar and style, presentation, and collaboration content area includes only a maximum possible score—no performance data is reported due to limited measurement opportunities for each individual content area.

AP Research

For each reportable area, the number of your students that fell into a specific quartile for each content area or component is indicated.

Related AP Research learning objectives are grouped together into nine “content areas”:

  • Understanding and analyzing context
  • Understanding and analyzing argument
  • Evaluating sources and evidence
  • Research design
  • Establishing argument
  • Selecting and using evidence
  • Engaging audience
  • Applying conventions
  • Reflection

An explanation of which learning objectives are included in each content area is available in the Resources section of the AP Seminar or AP Research Teacher Community. Note that a learning objective can be assessed in more than one content area.

Things to Remember

  • If your group of students is very different from the global population, variances in performance should be expected.
  • Small differences in the distribution of students should not be over-interpreted, especially when the number of students in your group is small.
  • If your students tested late, you will not be able to view a report for them.
  • If your students took different versions of the exam, your reports for the selected subject(s) will be divided into two separate segments: one for the students who received the most commonly administered version of the exam, and one for the students who took the additional version of the exam.

Designating Class Sections

If your school has AP teachers with multiple class sections or multiple teachers teaching the same AP subject, designate class sections so that AP coordinators, school administrators, and teachers can get your reports at the class section or teacher level.

Assigning students to separate class sections ensures that teachers have a direct view into the performance of their individual classes, enabling them to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their curricula.