• AP Scoring Model: These goals apply to all AP projects and Quarter Essays


    Top Scores

    All top-shelf AP work is framed in the paradox that the finest thinking and writing are organic and authentic as well as structured and crafted in some response to tradition.

    As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The sign of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two seemingly opposed ideas in one's mind at the same time.”  

    There are no hoops; there is no formula.  Both of those metaphors imply that the onus for success lies from without and that a prescribed system can be exploited.

    Becoming educated, as well as reading, writing, and living require that you command ownership; that you take the rudder and steer through the established but ever-changing currents. Occasionally, you float along and bask in the sunshine; other times, you get wet and dirty and banged up.

    These are profoundly well-crafted projects/essays which respond fully to the requirements. The best work demonstrates a full understanding of the issues and supports all points with considerable and appropriate textual evidence and examples. These projects/essay demonstrate stylistic maturity by the powerful and economical employment of diction, syntax, organization, development, style, and tone. Top work always answers the following questions; these are hardly exhaustive and there is considerable overlap.  

    • How does the style of the work help deliver the message; how is the style unique?
    • How do the parts (techniques, style, etc.) work together to from the work as a whole?
    • What is the tone and how does that tone help deliver the message?
    • So What? What message does the work send; what are its implications for us as individuals and as a culture? What does the author want us to do after we read his or her work?
    • What is this piece’s contribution; why is it important; how does it fulfill C. S. Lewis’ contention that, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”

    These papers have an immeasurable/unquantifiable grace, economy, and a power that are often both complex and simple.  These writers demonstrate a vision; they “see”, connect, and express ideas masterfully.

    Upper Scores

    These projects also respond correctly to the requirements but do so less fully or less effectively than the projects in the top range. Their discussion may be less thorough and less specific. These projects are thoroughly constructed and developed and reveal less maturity than the top projects. They do make thorough use of textual evidence to support their points.

    Middle Score

    These projects respond to the requirements, but the comments may be simplistic or imprecise; they may be overly generalized, vague, or inadequately supported. These projects are adequately created, but may not be as complete, cohesive, or as organized as the upper projects.

    Lower Scores

    These projects attempt to address the requirements, but do so either inaccurately or without support or specific evidence. They may show some misunderstanding or omit pertinent analysis. Statements are seldom supported with specific or persuasive evidence, or inappropriately lengthy quotations may replace discussion and analysis.

    Lowest Scores

    These projects fail to respond adequately to the question. They may reveal misunderstanding or may distort the interpretation. They compound the problems of the Lower Score projects. Generally these projects are unacceptably brief or poorly crafted. Although some attempts to address the requirements was made, the writer’s view has little clarity and only slight, if any, evidence in its support.