AP Capstone

History

The pilot predecessor to the current AP Capstone program, the AP|Cambridge Capstone Program, was initially offered in 17 high schools worldwide. With the launch of the full AP Capstone by the College Board in fall 2014, the program has expanded to now being offered in 1100 schools.[2] Over 100 colleges and universities support the AP Capstone program.[3]

AP Seminar

AP Seminar is the foundation course taken in 10th or 11th grade. It provides students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills and prepare for university. Students explore real-world issues such as innovation, sustainability and technology. The assessment culminates in 2 through-course tasks and a final written exam.[1] The through-course tasks are the following:

  • Task 1: An Individual Research Report and a Team Multimedia Presentation
  • Task 2: An Individual Written Argument, Individual Multimedia Presentation, and a set of Oral Defense questions.

The final written exam is taken during the two weeks of AP testing in May. (The test costs $142.) Students must receive a score of 3 or higher in the course to continue.

Score 2015[4] 2016[5] 2017[6] 2018[7] 2019[8]
5 4.9% 6.6% 6.7% 7.9% 7.1%
4 11.7% 12.6% 15.1% 16.7% 15.1%
3 58.3% 53.8% 65% 57.6% 58.9%
2 21.6% 21.8% 11.6% 15.4% 16.6%
1 3.5% 5.2% 1.6% 2.4% 2.3%
% of 3 or Higher 74.9% 73% 86.8% 82.2% 81.1%
Mean Score 2.93 2.94 3.14 3.12 3.08
Number of Students 5,288 12,308 19,943 30,964 43,441

AP Research

Taken in Grade 11 or 12, students design, plan and conduct a year-long research-based investigation on a personally-chosen subject in AP Research. The assessment culminates with a 5,000-word academic thesis paper, as well as a public presentation. Students must obtain a final score of 3 or higher to be able to receive AP certification.[1]

Starting in the 2017-18 school year, AP Research papers are graded using a holistic rubric. The two central elements that move a paper from a 2 to a 3 are the middle two rows, which assess the methodology and conclusion. The rubric can be seen here.

More specifically, a replicable methodology and a new understanding are required to pass.

Score 2016[9] 2017[10] 2018[11]
5 11.6% 16.8% 11.4%
4 16.3% 18.1% 23.7%
3 39.3% 35.4% 40.1%
2 30.8% 27.3% 19.8%
1 2% 2.5% 4.9%
% of 3 or Higher 67.1% 70.3% 75.2%
Mean 3.05 3.19 3.17
Number of Students 2,842 5,787 9,640

Program Completion

  • AP Capstone Certificate
    • 3+ on both AP Seminar and AP Research
  • AP Capstone Diploma
    • 3+ on both AP Seminar and AP Research
    • 3+ on 4 additional AP exams of student choice

References

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