“The psychology department got more and more suspicious about how good an indicator a 5 on the A.P. psych exam was for academic success,” said Hakan Tell, a classics professor who heads Dartmouth’s Committee on Instruction, so the department decided to give a condensed version of the Psych 1 final to incoming students instead of giving them credits.Suburban schools in my neck of the woods are itching to dump AP courses, and Dartmouth's move will be cited far and wide and often. Thanks!
Of more than 100 students who had scored a 5 on the A.P. exam, 90 percent failed the Dartmouth test. The other 10 percent were given Dartmouth credit.
The College Board, which administers the A.P. program, said it found the Dartmouth results hard to credit.
“It’s very difficult to believe that 90 percent of students with a 5 on their A.P. would flunk a test on an introductory course,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board official in charge of the A.P. program. “We have research, including Dartmouth students who got a 5 on their psychology A.P., showing that they did better than students without that A.P.”
Mr. Packer said he believed Dartmouth had an obligation to share details of the experiment.
Dartmouth Stops Credits for Excelling on A.P. Test
By TAMAR LEWIN
Published: January 17, 2013
Dartmouth needs to release the data. AP courses are developed by disciplinary specialists; in the past Ed's been approached to work on AP history. In terms of content the AP course is a college course.
I agree that high school teachers are in no way the equivalent of college professors with Ph.D.s in the field, but that is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is Dartmouth's claim that entering students who have scored 5s on the AP Psychology exam fail an introductory Dartmouth psychology department exam. I don't believe it. I know the kind of kid who gets accepted to Dartmouth -- I personally know several students attending Dartmouth now -- and they're not failing introductory-level course exams. If they are, there's something wrong with the exam.
Here's a student essay, from the AP Psychology Examination, that scored 10 of 10. (Scoring commentary here)
Here's the College Board's explanation of scoring for the writing portion.
Psychology Course Description