Guess What? Taking AP Exams Just Got Easier

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AP exams just got easier

Guessing is OK now, but you still need a No. 2 pencil. Credit: jupiterimages

Ah, we remember our Advanced Placement examinations well -- the No. 2 pencils, the cold sweats, the anxiety. But now, college-bound high school students can rest at least a little bit easier.

The College Board has announced that it will no longer penalize AP test-takers for guessing, USA Today reports. The organization administers the Advanced Placement program -- which allows high school students to take courses and exams that can earn them college credits -- and will no longer base the test scores on the total number of correct answers minus a fraction for every incorrect answer.

Let us help you with the math: That means from now on, scores will only be based on the number of correct answers. Other College Board exams, including the SAT, are already scored this way. The change was made because the College Board wanted to provide all students with the same test instructions.

More changes to the AP program are planned, and an unnamed College Board spokeswoman tells USA Today that the changes to the scoring system are part of the total overhaul. She says the redesigned courses will have "an increased emphasis on conceptual understanding and discipline-specific skills, resulting in fewer and more complex multiple-choice questions."

The changes will take effect for AP exams given in May 2011.

Got that? Good -- there will be a quiz later.

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