Using Personal Progress Checks in AP Classroom - Lit & More (2024)

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Using Personal Progress Checks in AP Classroom - Lit & More (2)

Today I ventured into new territory with my AP®* Literature students: online practice testing. This feature is called the Personal Progress Check and it’s available on AP® Classroom, a site released in 2019. Until today I’ve resisted online assessments in favor of pencil and paper, mostly because I’ve found it too hard to avoid cheating. However, with College Board rolling out their new AP® Classroom feature, I decided to give it a shot. I began by assigning a multiple choice progress check. Overall, although the website takes some exploring to fully understand, I found the process useful in terms of the data it provided.

*AP®is a trademark registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse, this website.

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*Disclaimer: The College Board does not recommend using the assessments on AP® classroom for any kind of grade. In fact, if teachers use these assessments for any kind of recorded formative or summative grade, they can risk their class’ status as an AP® class. Instead of assessing skills for your gradebook, use these tools to prepare your students for the AP® Exam.

Step 1 – Prepare Yourself for AP® Classroom

Log in

Before even beginning to introduce AP® Classroom to your students, I suggest spending some time navigating the site yourself. In my attempt to fully understand it, I ended up creating a fake student’s name and registering myself in my class. Big mistake, as I believe I also ended up registering for the AP® Lit exam in May!). But between my blunder and your time exploring, you should be able to understand its features.

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To get to AP® Classroom you’ll need to log into AP® Planner first, which is a web page run by College Board. Use your College Board login info here, which you should have already from a course audit. If you are a first-year teacher or one who has not ever used College Board, you should be able to create your own login information. However, I would suggest letting your AP® Coordinator know that you did this just to be safe.

Another thing to talk to your AP® Coordinator about is getting your AP® Classroom code. Chances are, he or she has set up your course for you. If they have, simply get your code (it should be 6 random letters) and enter it to claim your class. If they haven’t, or you have no AP® Coordinator, you can create your own class. Once you do, a code will be provided. You’ll need this later to enroll your students.

AP® Classroom View

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be shown a home page with important dates for AP® teachers and coordinators. Scroll down a little and click AP® Classroom (on the right). Fun fact, if you look to the top right you’ll see a button that says Student View. I did not know this when I created my phony student page, but it shows you what a sample AP® Classroom looks like to students. Click around and explore the features of the site, but maybe avoid assigning a unit until you’re sure you are ready. I’ve heard of people having a hard time “unassigning” a unit.

If you’re unfamiliar with the site, you’ll want to learn about the different Personal Progress Checks, or PPCs, that you can assign students to track their progress. You can assign PPCs in multiple choice form (MCQs) or free response questions (FRQs). AP® Classroom also has a growing list of questions in a Question Bank which can be targeted towards specific skills. However, some of those questions are still under construction. If you’re a newbie or still easing into this online testing thing, I’d keep your eye on those but don’t touch them for now. The PPCs are great to use as-is and shouldn’t need customization.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Students for AP® Classroom

Walk them through

On a day before you give your first Personal Progress Check, walk your students through registering with AP® Classroom. When I did this, many of my students already had a login with College Board due to previous AP® tests (the login link is the same as the teachers’). However, some did not, and more had forgotten their credentials. Give them at least 5 minutes to register with College Board, and make sure they save their credentials to their computer (and even write them down) so the process can be quick the next time.

Distribute your code

Once registered, all they need to use AP® Classroom is your course code, available on your teacher page. Their login screen will look similar to the teacher’s screen. Again, ask them to scroll down and click on AP® Classroom. When I did this, I had not yet assigned any Personal Progress Checks to my students. However, they were still able to navigate the different tabs and see where units would show up once they were assigned. I made sure that each student not only logged in, but clicked on AP® Classroom, found the tab that said Units to see the different Personal Progress Checks that were currently locked. Altogether, this registration process took us about 10 minutes. I’d budget for longer time with a bigger group, as some other classes experienced wifi issues.

I want to emphasize again the importance of doing this step on a day before you intend to assign it. Many teachers lost a full day because they ran into technical difficulties, or a student fell behind because of login issues. I did this two days before I needed it to be cautious and it led to a pain-free PPC during our scheduled time.

Step 3 – Assign & Take the Personal Progress Check

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Assign your Personal Progress Check (PPC)

Once your students are registered with AP® Classroom, you can assign your first Personal Progress Check. Simply log in to AP® Classroom and click on the tab that says Progress Checks. Select your unit and question type and click Assign. A box will show up. Make sure you check each class that you want to take the PPC. You can also toggle Unlock the assessment now (or do it later if you want), as well as give a time limit, a due date, and whether or not you want students to see their results. I’m indifferent on time limits, but I strongly suggest you allow students to see their results. They won’t be able to see them until you mark the assignment complete, and the data they collect from their scores will be useful later.

You can assign the PPC to be completed outside of class or provide time in class. I gave students time during our block period and they all finished in 30 minutes. I highly recommend printing out the passages for our MCQ so students can annotate the text. Printed passages also make it easier to refer back to the text when discussing it later. You may not want to, but I chose to take the assessment with the students by reading the questions from the Preview button. We spend at least 30 minutes of every Thursday doing independent reading, so as they read I looked over the data.

Step 4 – Study the Data Yourself

Once my students were finished and off to independent reading, I logged into AP® Classroom and marked the Personal Progress Check as complete. This populated the student data so I could see it. First of all, you see an overview of your class’ performance (see below). You can also click on your individual students to see how each student fared.

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I clicked on View Results to the right of the colored bar and I was able to see my students’ individual scores on each question. It only took a few minutes to sort my students into three groups based on their weakest standard. I then accessed the questions listed below each skill on the new AP® Lit CED, selecting one central question for my student groups to review. These questions are paired with the essential skill on my AP® Lit Task Cards, for sale in my TpT store. You can see how we used them in the pictures below.

Step 5 – Guide the Students Through Data Study and Goal-Setting

For the last 20 minutes of class, I passed out forms that I created to track data from the PPC. These forms go beyond the data tracking done on AP® Classroom as they ask students to reflect on their data and create goals. These forms are available in my TpT store for free, just click here!

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I placed students in groups based on their data and we reflected on weak spots in the assessment. I asked each group to reflect on the question included in their standard’s task card and apply it to one of the texts from the PPC. These group discussions helped students compare their interpretations of the text and the questions with their peers in order to look at them in a different light. Finally, students returned to their data sheets and created goals for their next PPC. The forms are being stored in my classroom for them to access anytime.

My Assessment of the Personal Progress Check Process

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Overall, I felt very pleased with the overall assessment process of AP® Classroom. I’ve always struggled with multiple choice practice tests in my own classes because I wasn’t able to provide much for feedback or ideas to build off in our lessons. While I have separate issues with AP® Classroom (like their horrid question bank), I like how the Personal Progress Check brings each question back to a focused skill and that those skills are easy to track.

I plan on using these forms and the PPC data to gauge our progress at the semester break. If certain skills are testing lower than others I can adjust my lessons to strengthen these weaknesses for the second half of the year. I also pair these with my AP® Lit task cards when we need to zero in on a particular skill.

One Year Later

Obviously the 2020 school year did not end up the way anyone expected. This system is still in place and AP® Classroom and Personal Progress Checks remain a useful tool for all AP ®teachers. To hear feedback and teaching strategies from participants in the 2020 AP® Lit Online scoring, check out this post.

Looking for more help with AP® Lit? Join my email list for weekly articles, resources, and strategies about AP® Lit and get a free resource on writing tips when you sign up! I’ve been teaching AP® English Literature for my entire teaching career (on year 14 as I write this) and have read for the exam 5 times. If you’re interested in getting more help, I have a Teachers Pay Teachers store with hundreds of AP® Lit resources, many of which are free!

Using Personal Progress Checks in AP Classroom - Lit & More (2024)


How do you use progress checks in AP classroom? ›

Assign your Personal Progress Check (PPC)

Simply log in to AP® Classroom and click on the tab that says Progress Checks. Select your unit and question type and click Assign. A box will show up. Make sure you check each class that you want to take the PPC.

Can I use progress checks in AP classroom as a grade? ›

Because the topic questions are formative, the results of these assessments cannot be used to assign a corresponding letter grade to students. Students can be assigned a completion grade.

Are AP classroom progress checks helpful? ›

Assigning Personal Progress Checks (PPC) and Your own Practice Exams on AP® Classroom. PPCs are a great formative assessment tool. Use it in this way and not as a summative device since every AP® student in the world may potentially be answering the same questions and kids talk to each other.

Do AP progress checks matter? ›

Because Personal Progress Checks are formative, the results of these assessments cannot be used to evaluate teacher effectiveness or assign letter grades to students, and any such misuses are grounds for losing authorization to offer AP courses.

How does AP classroom detect cheating? ›

The College Board has digital security tools and plagiarism software to detect cheating. They have also said the AP questions will be questions a student can't just google or figure out by chatting with friends. While this positive, it won't catch all cheaters, especially those who use a private tutor.

What approach can you use to check the progress of your learning? ›

Formative assessments can be used to measure student learning on a daily, ongoing basis. These assessments reveal how and what students are learning during the course and often inform next steps in teaching and learning.

What are AP personal progress checks? ›

Personal Progress Checks

They measure content and skills in each unit through: multiple-choice questions that are scored automatically and include rationales to explain correct and incorrect answers. free-response questions with AP scoring guidelines teachers can use to evaluate student answers.

Can parents check AP scores? ›

Your parents don't have access to your scores, unless you've given them your College Board account login information. If your school, district, or state partners with other educational organizations, your scores and/or personally identifying information may be shared with those specific educational organizations.

Can teachers see your tabs on AP classroom? ›

Teachers can view student progress and responses in the progress and results tabs within the Question Bank, and optionally provide students with scores and feedback. Are these new questions? No, the optional student practice questions are all drawn from practice and released exam questions already in AP Classroom.

Why is it important to check students progress? ›

Progress monitoring can give you and your child's teacher information that can help your child learn more and learn faster, and help your child's teachers teach more effectively and make better decisions about the type of instruction that will work best with your child.

What is the advantage of progress test? ›

Progress Testing allows early detection of high achievers: some learners perform (far) beyond the expected level of their phase in training (e.g. they might have had relevant previous other training) and, depending on their performance, individual and more speeded pathways through the curriculum could be offered.

Do colleges care about AP classes or AP tests? ›

Students looking to earn admission to highly selective colleges should take multiple AP classes to bolster their applications and demonstrate they can handle challenging coursework. Some college admissions experts recommend taking as many as 7-12 AP courses before applying to the most elite universities.

Does it matter if I get a 1 on my AP Exam? ›

Students who earn a 1 on their first AP Exam are also very likely (49%–70%) to take more AP courses and exams in high school. Many students who first earn an AP Exam score of 1 or 2 will then earn a higher score on the subsequent AP Exams they take.

Do colleges look at failed AP tests? ›

Colleges won't see your scores, and you won't miss out on any opportunities. So, even if you are unsure if you'll pass, it's a good idea to opt to take an AP course.

Is it better to take an AP test and fail or not take it? ›

Passing an AP exam has many benefits: you may receive college credit, it may help you win an AP Scholars award, and it may add to a larger picture of your academic success that can help you get into colleges. Failing an AP exam won't grant you these advantages, but doesn't carry any additional weight beyond that.

How do professors detect cheating? ›

Plagiarism Websites

Websites like, and are favorites of professors who want to check sentences, phrases and whole documents. These sites compare what the professor enters with papers that are online and in the sites' databases.

Can professors tell if you cheat online? ›

The short answer is yes. Online exams can detect cheating. Authentication procedures, web monitoring, data forensics, and proctoring (just to name a few) make it hard for examinees to get away with cheating.

Can I tell my teacher my AP score? ›

Can teachers see your AP scores? Teachers with access to AP score reports for educators can see your AP scores.

What are some examples of progress monitoring tools? ›

6 Examples of data-based progress monitoring in the classroom
  • Response to Intervention.
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
  • Individualized Education Programs.
  • Curriculum-Based Measurement.
  • Computer Adaptive Tests.
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support.
Mar 7, 2023

How can you as a student monitor your own learning progress? ›

5 Monitoring Techniques That Deepen Student Learning
  • 1) Entrance and Exit Tickets. As students arrive and/or leave the classroom, require them to demonstrate mastery of key parts of the content. ...
  • 2) Student Reflection. ...
  • 3) Revising Knowledge. ...
  • 4) Accountable Answers. ...
  • 5) Summarizing.
Dec 1, 2017

What to do if a student is not progressing? ›

If you suspect your child is not making academic progress, the first step to take is to call a meeting with the school staff. They can help assess whether or not any underlying issues need attention. You can also request to see the results of your child's tests and assessments.

What do progress check include? ›

A short, written summary should be produced detailing a child's progress in three areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language.

What does progress check mean? ›

Definition. A Progress Check Meeting is used to confirm progress on a project or initiative and to maintain project momentum.

Should I cancel my AP score if I got a 1? ›

It is more important for you to get recognition for taking that AP in the first place than it is to earn your target score. If you earned a 2 or a 1, consider withholding your score. These grades indicate that you did not perform at the college level for the subject.

What are the hardest AP classes ranked? ›

Hardest AP exams by pass rate
  • AP Environmental Science.
  • AP European History.
  • AP Government & Politics United States.
  • AP Human Geography.
  • AP Latin.
  • AP Physics 1.
  • AP Psychology.
  • AP United States History.
Jan 24, 2023

What AP score do you need for Ivy League admission? ›

An AP Score of 3 or 4 will likely not get you any college credit or respect at a top school like Stanford/Ivies/MIT. A score of 5 may not either — top colleges like to think that their courses are more rigorous than APs and thus should not be passed out of, and earning a 5 is simply expected for top admits.

Does the AP classroom lockdown browser record you? ›

The lockdown browser by itself doesn't record the examination, except for the cases when the proctoring system, which includes a lock browser feature, requires the use of the webcam and microphone. In this case, during the exam, you will see a recording icon on your screen.

Can AP classroom see if you copy and paste a question? ›

The only question type that will actually show you what was copied and pasted is Short Answer. You can click on the small i icon in the alert to view what was copied and pasted into the student response. The alert will not appear if a student copies and pastes a part of their own response. Only outside items.

What is dark green on AP classroom? ›

• Light yellow: 25 – 49.99% • Light green: 50 – 74.99% • Dark green: 75 – 100% As formative assessments, the score is not important but using the feedback is.

What are the 3 most important points about progress monitoring? ›

Important components of progress monitoring are:
  • Selecting evidence-based tools.
  • Implementing the assessment well.
  • Considering students' language barriers and special needs.
  • Recognizing students' strengths.

What are the four basic choices for progress monitoring? ›

Steps for progress monitoring student goals:
  • Determine the student's current level of performance.
  • Identify goals that will take place over time.
  • Measure the student's performance on a regular basis.
  • Compare the expected progress to actual student performance.

Is progress monitoring a formative assessment? ›

Progress monitoring is a type of formative assessment in which student learning is evaluated on a regular basis to provide useful feedback about performance to both learners and teachers. It consists of frequently administered, brief measures (sometimes referred to as tests or probes).

Why do teachers use a progress monitoring tool? ›

#1: Track and evaluate student learning outcomes

The most obvious and straightforward reason for progress monitoring is to track student learning over time. By utilizing progress monitoring, educators can use progress monitoring data to see if a student has made expected gains using the intervention provided.

What are the four 4 most important benefits of test driven development? ›

So, by following a test-driven development process, you achieve a modular, easy-to-understand, maintain, extend, test, and refactor structure for your application.

What is progress monitoring Why is it important to the IEP process? ›

Progress monitoring is a scientifically based practice used to assess a child's academic progress on IEP goals and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring tells the teacher what a child has learned and what still needs to be taught.

What is the hardest AP class? ›

Top 10 Hardest AP Classes by Exam Pass Rate
AP Class/ExamPass Rate (3+)Perfect Score (5)
1. Physics 151.6%8.8%
2. Environmental Science53.4%11.9%
3. Chemistry56.1%10.6%
4. U.S. Government and Politics57.5%15.5%
6 more rows

What is the easiest AP class? ›

Easiest AP exams by pass rate
  • AP Art & Design: Drawing.
  • AP Art & Design: 2-D.
  • AP Calculus BC.
  • AP Chinese Language.
  • AP English Literature.
  • AP French Language.
  • AP Government & Politics.
  • AP Italian Language.
Jan 13, 2023

How many APs does the average student take? ›

The Key Number

If that answer isn't fully satisfying, here is a look at the average number of APs students tend to take over the course of their high school years, broken down by college selectivity: Selective schools: around 7–12 APs. Semi-selective schools: 4–8 APs. Less selective schools: 1–5 APs.

Which AP exam has the lowest pass rate? ›

9) AP Physics 1

At many high schools, AP Physics is notorious for its difficulty level. In addition, it has the lowest overall pass rate of any AP exam.

What is a 75 on an AP test? ›

AP Scale Grading
If you got a percentage of...If you got a raw score of... (For FINAL EXAM)Your letter Grade will be...
87% or above94-108A+
9 more rows

Is it normal to fail your first AP test? ›

First, it's important to know that you are not alone in this situation. Many students, especially those taking an AP for the first time, will fail to score the 3 needed to receive college credit. It's important for AP students to go through the following checklist and make the best of a bad situation.

What percentage of students fail AP Exams? ›

(AP tests are scored between 1 and 5, with anything 3 and higher considered passing.) Most AP tests have a pass rate of around 60% or higher.

Will bad AP scores hurt me? ›

AP scores have very, very little impact on college admissions, especially if the exam has nothing to do with your major. If you don't report, they probably won't really notice. They can't assume you failed, as maybe you never took the exam in the first place. They care more about your grade in the class.

What happens if you fail the AP exam but pass the class in high school? ›

The good news is that a failed exam does not affect your GPA. In addition, you can retake the AP exam the next year. To prepare, you can re-enroll in the class, study on your own, or hire a tutor who can help you tackle the more challenging subjects on the test.

Does it matter if I get a 1 on my AP exam? ›

Students who earn a 1 on their first AP Exam are also very likely (49%–70%) to take more AP courses and exams in high school. Many students who first earn an AP Exam score of 1 or 2 will then earn a higher score on the subsequent AP Exams they take.

Does it look bad to retake an AP exam? ›

If you score a 3 or above on an AP test a retake unless you're absolutely set on earning college credit for your work. Ultimately, your AP score will have minimal impact on your admission chances unless you're applying to the most selective colleges with 1s and 2s.

Is it worth it to take an AP exam without taking the class? ›

We recommend taking the AP course before taking an AP Exam—but it's not required. We want to be sure homeschooled students and students in schools that don't offer AP can take AP Exams.

What can teachers see on AP progress checks? ›

Personal Progress Checks assess students' understanding of all the topics and skills within a unit. After students complete a Personal Progress Check, teachers can use the class report to discuss common challenges with students, identify topics to reteach, and help focus student review.

What is a progress check? ›

Definition. A Progress Check Meeting is used to confirm progress on a project or initiative and to maintain project momentum.

What is progress monitoring in the classroom? ›

Progress monitoring is used to assess students' academic performance, quantify their rates of improvement or progress toward goals, and determine how they are responding to instruction. You can use progress monitoring for individual students or for an entire class.

Can teachers see individual AP scores? ›

You, the college, university, or scholarship program you designated in My AP, and educators in your school and district, including your AP teachers, will automatically receive your scores once they're released.

Why are progress checks important? ›

Progress monitoring can give you and your child's teacher information that can help your child learn more and learn faster, and help your child's teachers teach more effectively and make better decisions about the type of instruction that will work best with your child.

What are examples of progress monitoring? ›

Examples of student progress monitoring include:
  • Response to Intervention.
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
  • Individualized Education Programs.
  • Curriculum-Based Measurement.
  • Computer Adaptive Tests.
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support.
Mar 7, 2023

What does progress monitoring look like? ›

A common form of progress monitoring is curriculum-based measurement (CBM). CBM tracks your child's progress in specific skill areas like reading, spelling, or math.

Is progress monitoring a screening assessment? ›

Screening and Progress Monitoring are different types of assessments, however, they can go hand-in-hand. Screening data can be used to help indicate the best measure to use to monitor a student.

What are 3 ways progress monitoring is used? ›

In education, progress monitoring is used to:
  • Assess students' academic and social-emotional behavior (SEB) progress.
  • Examine the rate of improvement.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of instruction or intervention.
Feb 25, 2021

Why is it important for students to monitor their own progress? ›

Monitoring their own academic progress is an important life skill for students. It fosters metacognition (awareness of one's own thought processes), which has been associated with higher levels of achievement.


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