Marking AP Papers

I am on AP Language question 2, which has a letter than Benjamin Banneker wrote to Thomas Jefferson. To see the question, you can go to AP Central’s PDF and scroll down.

It’s not an easy question. I was intimidated when I first read it and I have a PhD in rhetoric and comp. (I’m not saying I couldn’t have written it. But it was a surprise to see a question that intense on the AP exam.)

The grading has been incredibly intense. Yesterday at lunch we hit our halfway mark. Yesterday when we quit 40% of the papers were graded. For once, in the history of the 17 years people at my table have been coming, we may not be finished grading by Thursday at 5. Usually they are done early.

At 4:55 they asked us to stay later if we were within five exams of finishing. I wasn’t, but I stayed later anyway. I figure every set we get in today is good. Three people at my table stayed.

One guy at my table has graded 1800 papers in the five days we’ve been here. (I think that is right.) That’s way more than me. The first day he was finishing two folders for every one I did. I think I graded 150 on the first day, so he did 300. Today I graded 275. It’s the most I’ve graded so far. He’s not grading twice as much as I am now, but he’s still going faster. I’d say probably 1.5. So he probably finished 425 today… Maybe a bit more, 500? (I didn’t ask.)

So this one guy at my table is grading almost twice as many as I am. And I thought I was a fast reader.

I want to write about how the grading gets done, but I’m not sure it’s allowed. I may, however, be able to give my recommendations, based on the tons of reading I’ve seen done and what people are saying at lunch and breakfast. (Dinner I’m usually hiding from all the people. Very nice folks, meet and greet everyone.)

The grading has given me some significant insight for my teaching. We’ll see how it turns out.

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