Thursday, June 12, 2014

Good Things Are Happening in APCS

The Advanced Placement Computer Science exam was graded last week. Well the free response part was anyway. I had a number of friends there and got some news from them. There was also some APCSA 2014 Exam info from Trevor Packer (via Twitter) [collected by Jim  Huggins and posted to the APCS mailing list] which I have copied below.

Besides the Google funded efforts I know that the TEALS program (Sponsored by Microsoft) put a lot of industry professionals in classrooms to help teach APCS last year as well. So industry is starting to step up their support. I think that is a great thing.

Trevor Packer, head of the CollegeBoard's AP program, just posted some information about the 2014 APCSA exam to his twitter account (@AP_Trevor).   I'll copy his tweets here for your edification:

American schools are showing real commitment to helping students learn computer science: participation in AP Comp Sci grew by 33% this year.

Google funded the creation of AP Computer Science courses in more than 100 schools this year where female & minority students lacked access.

2014 AP Computer Science scores: 5: 20.9%; 4: 23%; 3: 16.9%; 2: 7.7%; 1: 31.5%. These may shift slightly as late exams are scored.

Given the difficulty level, it's rare to see a perfect score on an AP Exam, but when we do, we notify the student & teacher in the fall.

We're seeing the first perfect scores on any AP Exam so far this year in AP Computer Science: 9 students earned all 80/80 pts.

AP Comp Sci students scored very well on mc questions about object-oriented programming, but still struggled on data structures.

Of the AP Comp Sci free-response questions, students tended to perform best on Q2 (GridWorld case study)

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