AP USH Course Policies
AP US History Course Policies, 2017-2018
 
Policies and Scoring Rubric for the Reading Study Guide Course Segment

During the first five weeks we will be going through the entire course using the Reading Study Guide - which is actually a summary text for the Honors level US History course.  One chapter will be assigned each night through the end of September, and there will be a short essay exam each class day on the assigned reading.  All short essay questions will be posted on the schedule page well in advance for each assignment and students should seek to master the material so that they can competently answer any of these questions according to the rubric below.  I will select two of the short essay questions for their exam each day and students will be allowed 10-12 minutes to write their responses. 

Scoring Rubric for the RSG Course Segment (first 6 weeks)

Scale Score

Description

Score

Level 5

Both responses demonstrate impressive mastery of the terminology and context of the chapters beyond the expectations of Level 4.  Responses may also make relevant connections (continuity or change) to other periods of American history.

H5=100**

L5=95**

Level 4

Both responses demonstrate content mastery.  Responses exceed the Level 3 expectation by elaborating within the correct historical context, making 3 or 4 SFI connections, providing additional examples or details.

H4=90*

L4=85*

P4=79* (earn at least a L4 on your next Term Exam or this drops to a 77)

*one re-test is earned for a previous exam (re-tests may not be "banked").

Level 3

Both responses are complete, correct, and demonstrate content competency.  Each response should include appropriate connections to no fewer than 2 specific examples or SFI from your text.

H3=80

L3=74

P3=65 (earn at least a P4 on your next Term Exam or this drops to a Level 2)

R3=0-60 (your score on re-test can vary depending on its quality)

Level 2

One or more responses is/are partial or contain major factual errors.  Responses do not reflect sufficient student understanding or fail to fully answer the prompt.

No credit, eligible to earn a re-test with a subsequent 4 or 5

Level 1

Response is partial, incomplete or contains significant factual errors or omissions.

No credit, eligible to earn a re-test with a subsequent 4 or 5

 

What do you mean by SFI?

SFI means "specific factual information."  That includes, but is not limited to, any of the bold vocabulary words found in your RSG as well as any other specific person, event, development or historical concept that relates to a given period.  Specific dates are not considered SFI - while knowing the proper sequence of events is useful, memorizing things like dates or the amount of tea dumped into Boston Harbor is not a good use of your time.  Using facts and terminology is essential to historical writing because your conclusions must be supported by specific evidence.  So when you read and prepare for these assignments, mine the text for SFI that you can use to flesh-out your generalizations.   

What happens if I earn a 1 or a 2?

First of all, it's not the end of the world.  In APUSH I ask that students work to "master" the course content rather than to simply demonstrate competency - which is the expectation in most high school level courses.  If a student earns a level 2 or 1 on any exam, s/he can earn an opportunity to re-test and replace that mark with a passing grade by scoring a level 4 or better on a subsequent exam.  The re-test will include the same two short essay questions that appeared on the student's original exam. 

How long do I have to exercise a re-test that I have earned? 

Students have until the day before the AP Exam (9 May 2018) to exercise any re-test that they have earned throughout the year (including those from the 1st 6 weeks grading period).  As re-tests are completed, I go back into my grade book, replace those marks and recalculate the 9 weeks average.  However, students are encouraged to exercise re-tests as soon as possible.

General Policy for Course Grading

Please note that only the final grade for this course is recorded on student transcripts - 9 week averages and report card grades are not.  And while the 9 week grades are averaged together to produce the student's final grade at the end of each semester, please note that no 9 week mark is final in this course until the day before the AP Exam.  Students are entitled to earn re-tests and exercise those re-tests at any point between now and then to improve their 9 week averages.  As re-tests are completed, I go back and update those averages by replacing "0"s with the score from each re-test.  Therefore, even if a report card shows an "F" for a given 9 weeks, it is very possible to re-test and improve that mark to a C or even a B.  

Policies for the Kennedy Course Segment

Term Exam Explanation and Scoring Scheme

On those days that you are assigned a "Sticky Term Exam," I will give you two of the listed terms at random.  You must identify those terms by completely explaining them in 3-4 sentences.  Your identification should explain how the term fits within the historical context of its chapter or period, and its overall significance to that period or to American history in general.  Using analogies or making meaningful connections with related content can help you earn the top score.

Essay Exam Explanation and Scoring Scheme

On those days that you are assigned an "Essay Exam," I will give you one of four or five essay questions provided in advance.  You must construct a well organized and well argued response to the prompt assigned.  Use the scoring rubric above to guide your study and preparation.  The best way to prepare for these essays is to write them in advance, revise and edit as needed, then review the study product that you have created.  Putting all of these steps off until the night before is not an effective study strategy.

 

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