AP Classroom (selected) Vocabulary

Some basics for those new to the College Board’s Question and Resource Database for AP students and teachers. Possibly easier than reading through the College Board’s FAQs. Please notify me of any errors or omissions.

Publicly Available

These have been released to the public. They may (possibly) be found posted on the College Board’s AP Central website. You may use these questions in print or online. You do not need to use the lockdown browser. 

Teacher Use Only 

Questions that are included in the AP Classroom database but are not otherwise available. 

Topic Question

Formative questions that are intended for you to use without a grade for accuracy. You may assign a completion grade. The light bulb ( ) symbol shows a topic question. There are supposed to be at least three for each topic. Many are marked “Teacher Use Only” , a few are “Publicly Available.” You may use these questions in print or online. You do not need to use the lockdown browser. 

Secure Questions

Questions marked by the blue shield (). Most (all?) of these came from the International Practice Exams (IPE*). These are “real” AP exams that non-US students took for the purpose of earning college credit. The Secure questions are restricted. For in-person use, students should only use the questions and the solutions in the presence of the teacher. The students may not take pictures or copies of the questions or the solutions out of the classroom. Collect work on paper and scratch paper after use. For online use, these could be assigned with the College Board’s Lockdown Browser. Students should not be taking screenshots or in other ways saving images of the problems or answers.  (*=The IPE is a different exam from the Operational Exam that most US students take every year. The Operational Exam is the source of the released Free Response questions every year.) Fall 2021 – College Board no longer requires the Lockdown Browser! See below:

Personal Progress Check

Blocks of MCQs or FRQs for formative assessment. These have been written for all units. You may use them in print (FRQs only, MCQs don’t print) or online without the lockdown browser, but you are not allowed to separate them, they must be used whole. These are also Formative questions that are intended for you to use without a grade for accuracy.

AP Daily

Instructional videos by expert AP teachers on every(?) topic and skill in the course. Each is relatively brief, typically less than eight minutes long. You can assign them and see how much your students have viewed. Also useful for teachers to see how other AP teachers present a topic. 

Faculty Lecture

Longer videos (~40 minutes) by college professors, giving an overview of an entire unit. Accessible under the “Course-level Resource” tab. Check this out: The second one for APC Mechanics was given by Brian Greene, string theorist who wrote “The Elegant Universe” and starred in the TV miniseries of the same name.  

General Note about use of College Board materials. (not vocabulary)

The College Board does not allow you to post their materials on an open website or electronically mass distribute them. It is okay for you to use them with your own students on paper or electronically (preferably behind a password-protected Learning Management System). If you want to distribute publicly available materials more widely than your own classroom, you may share with people the link to where they are found on the College Board’s own website. 

About marcreif

I live and teach high school physics in the town I was born in, Fayetteville, Arkansas. My professional interests include modeling instruction and Advanced Placement courses. I also work as a College Board Workshop Consultant, which means I lead Pre-AP and AP Science Teacher workshops. Lately I've also been leading a fair amount of student review sessions for the National Math and Science Initiative. I have a website for students (fysicsfool.info) and another for AP Summer Institute participants (apsifool.info). I tweet infrequently (@marcreif).
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