For AP math and science assignments, we encourage you to follow the best practices for rationale-style feedback. This article covers points more specific to AP math and science courses.
Best Practices for AP STEM Grading
There are numerous aspects of AP STEM assignments that make them particularly tricky to score! Below are descriptions of four essential practices that will help you navigate AP STEM scoring. Please read the following notes carefully to ensure that you are able to effectively score and provide feedback on this AP qualifying assignment.
- When providing feedback on an incorrect answer, give the student the tools they need to arrive at the correct answer on their own.
Rather than explicitly telling the student the correct answer, explain key concepts, relate specific values or formulas (if applicable), and ask guiding questions that will help the student arrive at the correct answer on their own. This could be as simple as pointing out where the student lost points, explaining a key concept they missed, and asking them how they could use this information to solve the problem.
- When providing feedback on a correct answer, be sure to reference the key concept and specific wording of the question.
While not necessary for every correct answer, going beyond simply stating that their answer is correct will make your feedback much more impactful. By including detail in your rationale you are providing repeated exposure to a concept that will better prepare the student to address a similar question in the future.
- Reward the student when they use the correct key formula, even if they calculate an incorrect final answer!
In multi-point questions, it is appropriate to dock one point for the incorrect final answer (such as through a simple arithmetic mistake) but still give the student one point for having used the correct formula. In other words, just because the final answer is incorrect it does not mean that the student will not be able to earn any points.
- Students should only be penalized for a common mistake one time. For example, if a student does not use the appropriate number of required significant figures, the student should lose a point the first time they make this mistake on their assignment. However, should the student make another error with significant figures later in their assignment, they should not lose another point.
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