Update: July 18th, 2002: Grade, 5
Let me put your fears at ease, young jedi.
Many people do poorly on the ap us history exam who are probably capable of getting a 5 because they piss themselves several days before the exam, or worse, when they open up one of the packets, (usually the essay packet.)
Having a little information in your pocket is like having an adult diaper in such circumstances.
The essays are graded out of 9. The lowest score is a - (No response was given to the question) and the highest being a 9 (excellent thesis, signifigant facts, no major errors. Minor errors, for instance saying William McKinley was a democrat, or mispelling someones name, i.e. saying Harry S. Truman instead of the correct Harry S Truman
, if it doesn't affect your thesis, are generally ignored.) The essays are rather logrythmic in their grading. That is to say, if we turned a - through a 9 into points you would recieve in a class for your essay, a - would be a zero, 1 would be like 5/50, 2 would be 14/50 3 would be 22/50, but then a large jump at 5 to around 35/50, another jump at 6 to 42/50, 7 and 8 filling up the gap between 9, 50/50. Keep in mind that all perfect "9"'s are not created equal. The DBQ use to be graded out of 15, but this was abolished because 15's were very rare and it was simply too hard as a grading system. (For the readers!)
Things they will NOT ask you to do on the essay:
Evaluate military strategies.
Anything from the past 25 years is unlikely to be on the essay except as an option in a compare/contrast question, i.e. Compare and contrast the leadership styles of two of the following, Nixon, FDR, Wilson, McKinley. Eventually, a question about Carter or Nixon might pop up. If this should happen, just answer the other question. You recieve NO extra points for answering a harder question, since the 'harder question' is different for every person. (i.e., some people will be better suited to talking about foreign policy after wwi and wwii than talking about the factors which fostered womans suffrage in the 1920's, where as some people may have written papers on it and love the college board
Just about everything else is fair game.
Your MC grade will get your essays re-read
Perhaps the strangest part of the grading is the event of re-reading. In the event that someone does very well on the multiple choice, and does poorly on the essay's, the 'table leader' of a table reading an essay will generally tell the person who graded the essay that someone did poorly on, "You're undergrading!" at which point the reader will be compelled to make sure he didn't do so. After he goes back through the essay, the table leader then reads it and decides if the grade was fair. If there is one aspect of the grading the readers do not like, it's this.
You will need to know about the 60's and 70's. Sorry.
There might be one or two military history questions, but they'll be fairly obvious, asking you to explain why Washington won the war (He kept his army intact) or what we did during Vietnam. If you can eliminate two answers, guess. If you can eliminate three, guess. If you can elminate four, you have the answer. If you can eliminate 5, don't guess, you crossed out the right answer!
Grading Made Simple:
In the last quantitative scale I know of, which was 1988, the highest grade you could achieve was 180. 110 was a five! You needed under 66% to five the exam! The reason for this is that even sixes on the essay are relatively rare. A grade many people recieve in their classes and feel that they've done poorly, because they're crazy. During the essay, remember my super easy grading scale:
You get 3/9 for having a thesis. You get the next 3/9 for supporting your thesis with signifigant facts, you get the last 3/9 for having a lot of facts and correctly answering the question!
If you've done very well in the class, and you don't piss yourself on exam day, you will five the exam.
A note on test prep books: They're mostly worthless, in my humble opinion. For whatever reason, The Princeton Review writes MC questions which are /nothing/ like the actual exam. Your best source for all things review should be your teacher. Remember, your grade is the closest thing he or she has to a quantitative evaluation of his teaching skills!