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Home > Winter/Spring Update: 2009 AP Program News

Winter/Spring Update: 2009 AP Program News

Four AP Courses and Exams Discontinued After the 2009 Administration
2008-09 will be the final year in which AP French Literature, AP Italian Language and Literature, AP Latin Literature, and AP Computer Science AB courses and exams will be offered.

New and Forthcoming AP Publications

Course Descriptions
New 2010–2011 AP Course Descriptions are currently in development and will be available in May for the following courses:

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Science
  • European History
  • French Language
  • Government and Politics (Comparative and U.S.)
  • Human Geography
  • Latin
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Studio Art
  • United States History
  • World History

Released Exams
Released Exams give AP teachers and their students the opportunity to review an actual exam and familiarize themselves with the exam format and expectations. Teachers who wish to use the exam for practice with their students can order a Packet of 10, which includes 10 copies of the exam with blank answer sheets. However, teachers will need to have a copy of the Released Exam book, which has the answer key and an audio CD (for those exams with recorded prompts).

The following released exams are now available in the College Board Store:
  2007 AP English Language and Composition Released Exam
  2007 AP Psychology Released Exam
  2007 AP Spanish Language Released Exam

Teacher's Guides
Several new Teacher's Guides, written primarily for first-time AP teachers, are available as free downloads from the Course Home Pages:
  Latin (.pdf/1.0M)
  Spanish Language (.pdf/1.6M)
  Statistics (.pdf/2.1M)

Teacher's Guides for Art History and Japanese Language and Culture will be available in the spring of 2009.

Other Publications

  • Evaluating the AP Portfolio in Studio Art will be available for purchase from the College Board Store this spring. It addresses the scoring process for AP Studio Art portfolios and includes examples of student work, commentary, and score rationales.

Course-Specific Updates
For the most detailed information on all AP courses, visit the individual Course Home Pages. Updates for select AP courses appear below.
  Course Home Pages

Art History
The new 2010–2011 AP Art History Course Description will be available as a free download on the AP Art History Course Home Page in May. Printed copies will be available for purchase from the College Board Store.

A new AP Art History Teacher's Guide is currently in production and will be available in the spring.

Transition from slides to printed images
Slides will continue to be used in the administration of the AP Art History Exam for the 2008-09 school year. The College Board is in the process of identifying a printing method that is best suited for large-scale production of high-quality, high-resolution, color-correct, and appropriately sized images that will replace the slides currently used with the AP Art History Exam. Once the appropriate printing process is selected, tested, approved, and directions are created for test administrators who will be using the prints, the College Board will make an announcement to the AP Art History community. Since this change impacts the 2009-10 school year, starting in September 2009 publications and communications will reflect and detail the change. Additionally, when the 2009-10 Course Audit process begins in March 2009, the resource requirements will be updated to reflect this change.

Changes to the AP Art History Exam beginning with the 2010 exam administration:

  1. Change in the order of the free-response questions:
    • Questions 1 and 2 will be 30-minute essay questions. Question 1 will require students to incorporate in their response at least one example of art beyond the European tradition.
    • Questions 3 through 9 will be 5- or 10-minute essay questions based on color images and/or text.
  2. Decision to not count prehistoric examples:
    • The AP Art History Development Committee has been concerned over the years about students' use of prehistoric examples when answering the 30-minute long essays. These long essays typically ask the student to provide contextual information about the work of art, but there is little known about the particular cultures that produced prehistoric art. Students who use prehistoric examples cannot earn full credit because they cannot provide a factual discussion of the context. Therefore, beginning with the 2010 exam, prehistoric examples such as the Woman of Willendorf, the caves of Lascaux, and Stonehenge will not be accepted as appropriate examples.
  3. Emphasis on using examples from non-Western cultures other than Egypt and the Ancient Near East:
    • The Development Committee is also concerned about the overuse of Egyptian and Ancient Near East examples for the essay question that asks students to discuss art beyond the European tradition. To address this issue, the committee will add the following statement to the Course Description for 2010: "One of the 30-minute essay questions requires students to incorporate at least one example of art beyond the European tradition into their essays. Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East are fully covered in the multiple-choice questions in Part I and the short-answer essays in Part II of the exam. The intent of this essay question is to draw from areas such as Africa (beyond ancient Egypt), the Americas, Asia, Islamic cultures, and Oceania."

Visit the AP Art History Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Art History Course Home Page

Chinese Language and Culture
Starting in 2009, the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam format will change slightly; some free-response tasks will no longer be included. See an outline of the revised  exam format. The revised free-response section will cover the principal skills and knowledge that it was designed to measure and provide a shorter exam administration for students and proctors. A statistical analysis of the 2007 exam showed that students' performance on certain free-response tasks was highly predictive of their performance on other free-response tasks, indicating some redundancy in the assessment. There are no other changes to the exam, and the learning objectives for the course will not change.

Visit the AP Chinese Language and Culture Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Chinese Language and Culture Course Home Page

Save the date!

  • April 30–May 2, 2009: National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC), Chicago. The Asia Society and the College Board will host this event. AP Chinese Language and Culture Development Committee member Henry Ruan will be a presenter.

Computer Science
The AP Computer Science AB course and exam will be discontinued following the May 2009 exam administration. Changes to the Computer Science A course for the 2010 exam will be announced on AP Central and the electronic discussion group (EDG) in the spring of 2009.

The 2009 AP Computer Science Course Description was revised in September 2008 and is available on the AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science AB Course Home Pages. A new 2010–2011 Course Description will be available on AP Central in May. (Note: The Course Description is only available as a PDF.)

Visit the AP Computer Science A Course Home Page and the AP Computer Science AB Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Computer Science A Course Home Page
  AP Computer Science AB Course Home Page

Save the date!

French Language, French Literature
The AP French Literature course and exam will be discontinued following the May 2009 exam administration.

The new 2010–2011 AP French Language Course Description will be available as a free download on the AP French Language Course Home Page in May. Printed copies will be available for purchase from the College Board Store.

The new 2008 AP French Language Released Exam and its corresponding Packet of 10 will be available for purchase from the College Board Store in March.

Visit the AP French Language Course Home Page and the AP French Literature Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP French Language Course Home Page
  AP French Literature Course Home Page

Save the dates!

German Language
The new 2008 AP German Language Released Exam and its corresponding Packet of 10 will be available for purchase from the College Board Store in March.

Visit the AP German Language Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP German Language Course Home Page

Save the dates!

  • February 21, 2009: AP German Teachers' Conference, Austin. Chief Reader Johanna Watzinger-Tharp and members of the Development Committee will present. For registration information, contact Michele Miller at mmiller@ets.org.
  • March 5–7, 2009: Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) 2009 Conference, Atlanta. The theme is "Empowerment through Collaboration." Mary Ashcraft and Juan-Carlos Morales, members of the AP German Development Committee, will present "Strategies for Teachers of All Levels."
  • April 16–18, 2009:  56th Annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL), New York City. The theme is "Engaging Communities: The World Is Our Classroom." Margaret Hampton and March Ashcroft, members of the AP German Development Committee, will present a session entitled "AP German: A Thematic Approach."

Human Geography
The new 2010–2011AP Human Geography Course Description will be available as a free download on the AP Human Geography Course Home Page in May. Printed copies will be available for purchase from the College Board Store.

Visit the AP Human Geography Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Human Geography Course Home Page  

Save the dates!
Members of the AP Human Geography Development Committee will be presenting at the following conferences:

  • March 22–27, 2009:  Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Las Vegas. The topic of the session is "Advanced Placement Human Geography: The First Eight Years and Beyond." Max Lu is the organizer, and David Lanegran is chair of the session. Sarah Bednarz will be on the panel. Additional panel members include Alexander Murphy and Patricia Gober, past chairs of the Development Committee.
  • April 4, 2009: AP Human Geography Teachers' Conference, Tampa. The topic for this conference is agriculture, and Development Committee members will lead discussions on subtopics for this content area in Human Geography. The event is intended primarily for teachers within the Tampa region who are currently teaching AP Human Geography. Registration information and the conference agenda will be sent to teachers in the Tampa area.

Japanese Language and Culture
Starting in 2009, the AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam format will change slightly; some free-response tasks will no longer be included. See an outline of the revised exam format. The revised free-response section will cover the principal skills and knowledge that it was designed to measure and provide a shorter exam administration for students and proctors. A statistical analysis of the 2007 exam showed that students' performance on certain free-response tasks was highly predictive of their performance on other free-response tasks, indicating some redundancy in the assessment. There are no other changes to the exam, and the learning objectives for the course will not change.

The AP Japanese Language and Culture Teacher's Guide is currently in production and will be available in early 2009. Watch for an announcement on AP Central and the electronic discussion group for more information.

Visit the AP Japanese Language and Culture Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Japanese Language and Culture Course Home Page

Save the date!

Latin: Vergil, Latin Literature
The AP Latin Literature course and exam will be discontinued following the May 2009 exam administration.

The new 2010–2011 AP Latin Course Description will be available as a free download on the AP Latin: Vergil Course Home Page in May. Printed copies will be available for purchase from the College Board Store.

The new AP Latin Teacher's Guide is available as a free downloadable PDF on the AP Latin Literature and AP Latin: Vergil Course Home Pages. Printed copies are available for purchase in the College Board Store.

Visit the AP Latin Literature Course Home Page and the AP Latin: Vergil Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Latin Literature Course Home Page
  AP Latin: Vergil Course Home Page

Save the dates!

Music Theory
The 2009–2010 AP Music Theory Course Description was revised in September 2008 and is available as a free download, along with accompanying audio files, on the AP Music Theory Course Home Page. Printed copies are available for purchase from the College Board Store.

The new 2008 AP Music Theory Released Exam and its corresponding Packet of 10 will be available for purchase from the College Board Store in March.

Visit the AP Music Theory Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Music Theory Course Home Page

Spanish Language
The 2009–2011AP Spanish Course Description was revised in September 2008 and is available as a free download on the AP Spanish Language Course Home Page. Printed copies are available for purchase from the College Board Store.

The new 2007 AP Spanish Language Released Exam and its corresponding Packet of 10 are available for purchase from the College Board Store.

The new AP Spanish Language Teacher's Guide is available as a free downloadable PDF on the AP Spanish Language Course Home Page. Printed copies can be purchased from the College Board Store.

Changes to the 2009 AP Spanish Language Exam
In order to further reduce the amount of time needed to administer the AP Spanish Language Exam, the paragraph completion (fill-ins) section (with and without root words) will be eliminated as of the May 2009 exam administration. Currently, the time limit for Section II of the exam, which includes paragraph completion, is 1 hour and 40 minutes. The elimination of paragraph completion reduces the length of Section II by 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes. The weight of the interpersonal writing section will increase to 10 percent. The weight of the other exam sections remains unchanged.

The parts of the exam where spoken directions are recorded on the master CD will be in both English and Spanish. All directions printed in the students' exam booklets will be in English and Spanish.

Visit the AP Spanish Language Course Home Page for information about teaching resources.
  AP Spanish Language Course Home Page

Save the dates!

  • March 5–7, 2009: Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) 2009 Conference, Atlanta. The theme is "Empowerment through Collaboration." Laura Zinke (former AP Spanish Language Development Committee member) will lead a workshop on AP Spanish Language titled "En sus marcas!: Spanish AP."
  • April 16–18, 2009: 56th Annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL), New York City. The theme is "Engaging Communities: The World Is Our Classroom." Ken Stewart (former AP Spanish Language Development Committee member) and Ana Colbert (AP Spanish Literature Development Committee member) will lead a preconference workshop on the AP Spanish Language and Spanish Literature Exams. Participants will learn classroom strategies for improving student performance on the exams.

Spanish Literature
The new 2008 AP Spanish Literature Released Exam and its corresponding Packet of 10 will be available for purchase from the College Board Store in March.

Visit the AP Spanish Literature Course Home Page on AP Central for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP Spanish Literature Course Home Page

Save the dates!

  • April 16–18, 2009: 56th Annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL), New York City. The theme is "Engaging Communities: The World Is Our Classroom." Ken Stewart (former AP Spanish Language Development Committee member) and Ana Colbert (AP Spanish Literature Development Committee member) will lead a preconference workshop on the AP Spanish Language and Spanish Literature Exams. Participants will learn classroom strategies for improving student performance on the exams. Ana Colbert will also give a presentation on the early introduction of literature in the curriculum as a foundation for reading, discussions, and writing, and she will present literary selections, methodology, activities, and pedagogical techniques.

Studio Art
The new 2010–2011AP Studio Art Course Description will be available as a free download on the AP Studio Art Course Home Pages in May. Printed copies will be available for purchase from the College Board Store.

Evaluating the AP Portfolio in Studio Art will be available for purchase from the College Board Store this spring. It addresses the scoring process for AP Studio Art portfolios and includes examples of student work, commentary, and score rationales.

This school year, the College Board will implement a digital, Web-based submission process for the three AP Studio Art portfolios. For the May 2009 exam administration, artworks for Studio Art portfolio sections that have traditionally required slides will be submitted as digital images.

For more information on this process, please visit:

Please note that changing from slides to digital submission will not change any of the content requirements for the portfolios. The Quality section for Drawing and 2-D Design will still require students to submit actual artwork, and the number of images required for all sections will remain the same.

Save the dates!

  • February 25–28, 2009: College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference, Los Angeles. Jan Feldhausen (AP Studio Art Development Committee member) from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design will present "The Role AP Can Play in Transitioning Millennials to College Study in the Visual Arts."
  • April 17–21, 2009:  National Art Education Association (NAEA) National Convention, Minneapolis. Presenters include Jerry Stefl, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Patricia Lamb, Lakeland Public Schools, Florida; and Alice Sims-Gunzenhauser, ETS.

United States History
The new 2010–2011AP United States History Course Description will be available as a free download on the AP United States History Course Home Page in May. Printed copies will be available for purchase from the College Board Store.

Visit the AP United States History Course Home Page for detailed course information and teaching resources.
  AP United States History Course Home Page

Save the dates!

  • January 2–5, 2009: American Historical Association (AHA) Annual Meeting, New York City. The theme is "Globalizing Historiography." The topic "Reform and Religion in the U.S. History Survey: A Global Perspective" will be presented by Suzanne Sinke, Florida State University, panel chair; Daniel Rodgers, Princeton University; J.D. Bowers, Northern Illinois University; and Michael Grossberg, Indiana University.
  • March 26–29, 2009: Organization of American Historians (OAH) Annual Meeting, Seattle. The theme is "History without Boundaries." The College Board Breakfast Panel (March 28) will be led by Tim Thurber, Virginia Commonwealth University. The AP Round Table: 2008 AP U.S. History Exam Questions (March 28) will be presented by Bill Tinkler, College Board; Jason George, Bryn Mawr School; Chris Olsen, Indiana University; and Uma Venkateswaran, ETS.
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