Thomas Hastings, who teaches advanced placement American History at Lincoln County High School, was recently among 1,600 high school teachers and college professors traveling to Tampa, Fla., to grade the AP U.S. History exam.
The Advanced Placement program, organized by College Board, offers 37 courses in a wide variety of subject areas, Hastings said, noting that LCHS is fortunate to offer AP U.S. History, AP English, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus, and AP Art.
“The AP program continues to grow at Lincoln County High School,” he said, adding that LCHS will also be offering AP Government starting this school year. “Many of the AP subjects have so much demand that two sections will be offered to accommodate the students for the 2017-18 school year.
“With regards to AP classes, we are fortunate to be on block scheduling. Students and teachers have ample time to cover the material and prepare the students for successful mastery of the material. The administrative staff at Lincoln County High School are committed to high academic standards for the students.”
The AP U.S. History exam consists of four parts: Section I – Part A, consisting of 55 multiple-choice questions to be answered within 55 minutes and counting for 40 percent of the exam score; Section I – Part B, consisting of four short-answer questions within 50 minutes and counting 20 percent of the exam score; Section II – Part A, which is document based with one question, to be answered within 55 minutes, counting 25 percent of the exam score; and finally Section II – Part B, consisting of one long essay question, to be answered within 35 minutes and counting for 15 percent of the exam score.
Aside from the multiple choice, the entire exam is graded by high school teachers and college professors. The grading took place this year in Tampa where Hastings joined teachers and college professors from across the nation.
Hastings graded the answers to the document based question. Over 500,000 students across the nation took the AP U.S. History exam this year.
The AP readers, as they’re called, worked seven days, June 3-9, each from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., with a morning break, lunch and an afternoon break during each day of the grading.
“Every night College Board had professional development opportunities participants could attend,” said Hastings. “To quote Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and instruction, ‘Serving as a reader for the AP exam is the best professional development in which an AP teacher can take part.’
“It was a great experience,” he said, noting that he earned 52 professional development hours. “Most importantly, serving as an AP reader will no doubt make me a more effective classroom teacher. I look forward to teaching some of the best juniors in Lincoln County for the 2017-18 school year. Go Falcons!”