The test is over! Your students feel much better and relieved now that the exam is over. Score releases are in the distant future. You feel relieved as well. Now…we wait.
My favorite day of the AP® year is the day that the exam releases the questions. They typically come out two days after the exam. In years past I have been waiting—very impatiently—at the computer, hitting refresh, refresh, refresh. The reason I love this day is because my students have taken the exam and now, I want my turn at it.
I LOVE taking the exam each year. The FRQs come out. I print them. I take the exam. I love taking the exam. It gets my adrenaline going. I look at the basic framework of each question. I look at the intent of each question. I look at the sequence of the questions they are asking. I find the ones that national scores are likely to reflect low scores. I try to figure out the point structures—made easier by the new 10-5-5 scoring. I check my answers. I copy the answer keys for my students to see.
Then we debate in each class. “Well Mr. Anello, what if you said…” I love explaining the way in which the question is guiding students, explaining the correct answers, explaining the diagrams needed. I enjoy the curve ball questions that are on the exam, and the fist pump by several students who did not get confused by it.
If you could not tell by my last paragraphs, I love this day. And you should too. You don’t have to be fearful that you will make a mistake in your answers. You should enjoy the high-level discussion that will follow with your answer key. Sometimes, there will be multiple acceptable answers.
Should you feel hesitant to share your answers, and that is totally fine, check the AP Discussion Boards. You will find solace each year in the number of questions by AP® teachers around the country who are just as hesitant as you in sharing the correct answers. You will see teachers who gladly share their answers (no student will know if you copy their answers and distribute as your own).
I love this day. I hope you will too. It is fulfilling to be challenged as an educator. If you have any questions or hesitations about answer keys, email me. I will gladly share my answer key. This enterprise is a great way to put a bow on an entire semester or year’s worth of hard work for your students and you, an incredible AP® teacher.
Nick Anello has taught AP® Economics for nearly a decade at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School in Flossmoor, Illinois, in addition to teaching IB SL Economics. He holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and two Master of Arts degrees in General Administration and Curriculum & Instruction from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois. He has led professional development programs at local, state, and national levels on the teaching of economics. In 2017, he received the 3M and Econ Illinois Outstanding Economics Educator award. He also served as a member of the AP® Instructional Design Team during the most recent curriculum update.