The AP Instructional Planning Report, IPR, is available today from your audit website, the same place you found your students’ scores. While we all like to see how or students performed individually on the AP exams, the IPR may be of more use to you. It will help you learn where the strengths and weaknesses of your students and your teaching are. Here are some suggestions on what to look for and how to use the report.
The first page contains graphs and data comparing your classes to everyone who wrote the exam. You can see how your students did overall, on the multiple-choice section, and on the free-response section.
The second page is more detailed and more useful in analyzing the results. Here you will find data by topic from the multiple-choice section, and by question for the free-response section. The numbers in the “group mean” column are your students’ average. The “global mean” column is the average of all the students who took this form of the exam.
At a glance you can compare your students with everyone who wrote the exam. If your results are higher, that’s great. If not, keep in mind that this may not be just a reflection on your teaching. If your school has open enrollment and requires that everyone write the exam, then you have to expect scores lower than average. That is not a bad thing for you or your lower scoring students. Students who write an AP exam and score one or two still do better in college than students who never took an AP course. By better I mean that they require less remediation, have higher GPAs, and more of them graduate from college on time than students who never tried AP.
Now, try this: for each topic on the list, divide your classes’ mean by the global mean. Your results will be greater than one if your students did better than the entire group or less than one if they did not do as well. Even if the ratios are all under one, look for the topics with higher ratios. These are the topics your students learned well. The topics with low ratios compared to the others are where you need to find a different approach or spend more time next year. This works even if all the ratios are over one.
I first learned this approach from Dixie Ross. Her take on IPRs which is worth reading can be found in her blog for AP teacher here.