Just when I wanted to hate ... Biology
A refreshing change of topic – to the Biology AP exam.
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The changes, which are to take effect in the 2012-13 school year, are part of a sweeping redesign of the entire A.P. program. Instead of just providing teachers with a list of points that need to be covered for the exams, the College Board will create these detailed standards for each subject and create new exams to match.Skip to next paragraph
Writer, Kauffman’s Growthology.org
Tim works in research and analysis at the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepeneurship. (Growthology)
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... The new approach is important because critical thinking skills are considered essential for advanced college courses and jobs in today’s information-based economy. College administrators and veteran A.P. teachers familiar with the new biology curriculum believe the changes could have significant reverberations for how science is taught in introductory college classes and even elementary school classrooms, and might bring some of the excitement back to science learning.
... College Board officials say the new labs should help students learn how to frame scientific questions and assemble data, and the exam will measure how well they can apply those skills. When the new test is unveiled in 2013, biology students will need, for the first time, to use calculators, just as A.P. chemistry and physics students do. The board plans to cut the number of multiple-choice questions nearly in half on the new test, to 55. It will add five questions based on math calculations, and it will more than double the number of free-response questions, to nine.
“There won’t be any more questions like: here is a plant, and what is this tissue?” says Professor Uno of the University of Oklahoma, who is helping to decide what will be asked. Instead, early samples show that the multiple-choice questions will be more complex. They will require students to read short passages, or look at graphs, and pick the answers that explain why something happened or that predict what will occur next.
One sample essay question provides a chart with the heights of plants growing in either sunlight or shade and a graph that misinterprets the results. Students must decipher what went wrong, re-plot the data and design a better experiment to determine which grew faster.
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