As a high school teacher who has taught AP for many (over 20) years, I must come to the defense of the AP test. It is not perfect, but then if someone has written a perfect assessment tool for calculus, I have not yet seen it. In fact, most if the ones i have looked at are not even close to the AP test in asking good questions.
It has been my experience that if a student learns calculus, that student will get a high score on the AP test. I suppose it is possible to artificially manufacture high scores by teaching to the test, but why do that when it is not necessary?
We have been trying , with some success, to teach a course that will prepare students to take Calc 3 at any university in teh country. I can not recall a student who has told us she or he was not prepared for the next course. Our students do well on the AP test since they know calculus and the test tests that. We have always looked at the AP syllabus as a minimum standard that we should rise above.
The test is good enough that commercial materials give students evidence of strengths and weaknesses but are not practice tests.
At least, that is how I feel about all of this.
John Benson (School) (Home) Evanston Township High School 715 South Boulevard Evanston Illinois 60204 Evanston IL 60202-2907 (847) 492-5848 Phone (847) 328-8019 Phone (847) 492-3872 Fax (847) 328-8920 Fax