A.P. Essay Writing Hints 2003 (Joan Carlson via AP Biology List Serv 3/11/03)

Answer only what is asked. No points are given for restating the question or extra information that is unrelated to the question.

2. Write complete sentence answers. ( no credit for outlines)

3. Pay special attention to numbers in the question.
Ex. Give three examples of homeostasis in living systems.
Extra examples beyond three receive no extra credit.
It is important that students follow through with examples if asked to continue discussions in part B and C.

4. The present exam requires that four essays be answered. Each exam question will be rated the same, however within an exam question, sections will be weighted differently.
Ex. If a question has three parts A. B. and C., the value of each section can differ.

5. Lab-based questions may require creating a graphs or charts. It is important to properly label the graph or chart with a title and also axes of graphs with correct labels including units of measurements.

6. Experimental design questions must be answered with attention to the rules of the scientific method:

 a clear testable hypothesis
 a controlled experiment with a description of the control and the fact that
 there is only one variable being tested in the experimental design
 many in the sample sizes- never just one
 a clear description or what is to be measured, how it is to be measured and how
 frequently observations and measurements will be made
 the need for repetition of the experiment  to prove results or the need for revision of  the hypothesis

7. Students are encouraged to write clearly using black or blue pen. If studentıs penmanship is hard to read they can print if it is easier to read.

8. It is easier for the grader if studentıs answer the question sections labeling each section. Ex. 1A, 1B, 1C.

9. Questions are printed in the pink test booklet. Is it suggested that students read through all questions and allocate sufficient time ( 22 minutes) for each of the four essay answers. Bringing a watch into the exam setting may be helpful to studentıs time management. They may go back to  a question to add more information to their answer but they are encourage to write succinctly and use their time carefully to answer all four questions. Writing outlines on their green question sheets gives them no points.