More Changes from the College Board: AP Test Revisions

By now you’ve likely heard ad nauseam of the changes due for the SAT in 2016. This announcement from the College Board has overshadowed other major changes being made by the organization to its AP tests, some of which take effect this year.

Several AP tests will undergo minor to major changes over the next few years in order to target more critical thinking, depth of understanding, and student achievement. Specific changes depend on the subject, but the general trend seems to be that the test will have less content and require more depth. Many teachers across the country have protested the sheer volume of information that they have to cover in the school year and that preparing students for these AP tests, especially in subjects that have a historical context, is essentially preparing students for a grand culminating game of memory recall. These changes seem to address these concerns as the College Board has begun an effort to modify its products to more closely align with classroom learning objectives.

Here’s a snapshot of upcoming changes to AP tests:

AP Test Revisions First Year of Revised Test
Chemistry Several content changes 2014
Spanish Language and Culture Focus on three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, presentational. More focus on culture. 2014
Physics 1 This class will be the equivalent of a first semester of college level physics, covering Newtonian mechanics, work, energy, power, waves, sounds, and electric circuits. 2015
Physics 2 This class will be the equivalent of a second semester of college level physics, covering fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. 2015
US History AP US History will now contain a series of learning objectives rather than simply listing the weight of various historical period. 2015
Art History AP Art History will specify, define, and limit the objectives, content, and number of art to 250 pieces, half the previous number. 2016
European History AP European History will focus around 5 themes and 19 key concepts in 4 chronological periods. 2016