Grading Policies

    AP Physics 1 follows the district grading policy for converting overall percentage into final grades:

    90 - 100% = A
    80 - 89% = B
    70 - 79% = C
     60 - 69% = D
    0 - 59% = F
    Final grades will be rounded up from the final calculated grade if the student is within 0.5% of the next grade level.  For example, a 79.50% will be rounded up to an 80.00% B.  However, a 79.49% will not.

    Grading is divided into the following categories:

    Tests and Quizzes 60%

    Labs 15%
    Homework 10%
    Participation 15%



    Tests will follow the format of the AP Physics 1 test and will be comprised of both multiple choice and free response questions.

    multiple choice
    Multiple choice questions have four answer choices and some questions will be multiple-answer.  Multiple-answer questions require the student to choose the two correct answers from the four selections.  Credit for those questions is only given if the student correctly identifies both of the correct answer choices. Multiple choice questions are only scored for correctness and the work is not scored.
    free response
    Free response questions have varying scored amounts.   They are scored almost entirely on the work shown or explanation given and in rare cases there is no credit even given for the correct answer.  Simply putting down correct answers with no work guarantees a poor score on the free response.
    Tests are scaled to 100 points each with 50% of the score determined by the multiple choice score and 50% determined by the free response score.
    There are no retakes for tests.

    There are no test corrections. 



    Free Response formatting examples.

    Tests will consist of AP level difficulty questions and will therefore use the AP Physics 1 curve to adjust the score.  The exact formula is somewhat technical but the cut-off conversions are as follows:

    Raw Score*      Converted Score
    80%                   100%
    70%                     93%
    55%                     83%
    42%                     73%
    30%                     63%
    25%                     53%
     * The table above is suggested cut-offs only and is subject to change in accordance with the periodically changing cut-offs used by the AP College board.


    There are no retakes for quizzes.  Quizzes are 30 points each.


    Practicums are live-action lab quizzes.  The students will work in their lab groups to determine the value of an unknown measurement. The score for the practicum is results based.


    Practicums are scored from 0-10 and are a quiz grade.  The group will receive a 5/10 for showing their data and calculations.  The score will be improved by up to 7 additional points depending on how close the group was to the measured result.






    Labs are 50 points each and are graded in accordance with the lab rubric.

    There is no credit for late labs.  If the lab is partially complete, turn in the part completed to receive a partial score in accordance with the rubric.





    Standard homework may be assigned in two ways:

    1) Worksheet



    Homework assignments are worth 5-points each and are graded based on the following:

    ·        Worksheets

    A worksheet assignment usually consists of 5-8 problems. Worksheets are graded on percent complete:

                    90-100%- 5

                    80-90%- 4

                    60-80%- 3

                    30-60%- 2

                    10-30%- 1

                    0-10%- 0


    To earn credit, the worksheet must show a good attempt. A “good attempt” is defined as meeting the following criteria:

    (1) Each attempt shows through the writing on the page that an effort was made to research for any problem the student did not know how to solve.

    (2) There is enough work for each problem to show the progression to either the right or wrong answer.


    • UT Assignment

    Note: The UT assignment is published through the University of Texas and is used by students throughout the United States and Internationally.  The University of Texas has chosen to use Eastern Standard Time.  This results in the actual time for completion being EARLIER than the published time for completion for our region here in Arizona.  This is announced in class and is the student's responsibility to be aware of this.  Being that these are multi-week assignments that are intended to be done piece-wise over those multiple weeks, this should not pose a problem for any students other than those who wait until the last opportunity to complete the assignment.  There seem to be updates to the UT online homework system which may make this time zone issue no longer true.  The 2019-2020 class will be testing the new updated system.

    At some point mid-way through each UT assignment, there will be a UT Check.  This is a 5-point assignment graded as either a 0/5 or a 5/5 (there is no partial credit).  To receive a 5/5 the student must be locked out of half of the assigned problems.  To be locked out of a problem, the student needs to either get the correct answer or needs to have made enough wrong attempts such that UT will no longer allow future attempts at the problem.  The purpose of this assignment is to help break up the assignment into smaller parts and prevent procrastination. This assignment does NOT count towards the 80% UT requirement for the lighter final.

    Numeric questions using web submission:

    For more than one try, the full credit score is multiplied by 0.93 ^ (t - 1), where "t" is the number of tries that you use, and the "^" is notation for "to the power of." (Note: 0.93 ^ 0 = 1.)

    Homework grades are scaled to reflect each homework as a  30 pt assignment.

    200 pt assignment (UT grading scale):

    These assignments are usually tuned to a difficulty level of 60% success of ALL students from ALL institutions attempting these problems.  For our purposes, the "average" score of 60% is returned to an 90% (A-) by multiplying the student scores by a factor of x1.3.  This allows maintaining the difficulty level of the questions without it unfairly plummeting a student's grade in the homework category. This only applies to students who attempt all problems.  Students who leave questions unanswered will NOT receive the "factoring" bonus.  This prevents students from obtaining a score of 100 and then opting out of the remaining problems.
    Class score is determined by dividing the UT score (max 200), dividing by 10, and rounding down to the nearest whole number.  The maximum score is a 20.  The scores are then scaled up in value to create more weight:
    20 = 30
    19 = 29
    18 = 27
    17 = 26
    16 = 24
    15 = 23
    14 = 21
    ...and so on
    For example, a student who receives a UT score of 187 out of 200 will have their score multiplied by 1.3, divided by 10, and rounded down; thus receiving a 24.  However, because the maximum score is a 20, the student will receive a 20, which then scales to a 30/30.
    In another example, a student receives a 100 out of 200, but does not attempt the last 2 problems.  This student will have their raw score divided by 10, thus receiving a 10, which scales to a 15/30.
    Lastly, a student receives a score of 27 out of 200, and attempts all problems.  This student will receive a 3, scaling to a 5/30.





    Small discussions involve discussing a whiteboard solution of a problem on a worksheet to the class.  It is possible for all members of a group to receive credit for a small discussion if all members meaningfully participate.  Meaningful participation includes explaining solutions or answering questions, but not reading the problem or solution.  Small discussions are done at the group stations.


    Large discussions involve an entire group coming up to the front of the class to present the results of a lab.  Again, it is possible for all members of a group to receive credit for a large discussion if all members meaningfully participate.


    Each student must acquire 15 points of discussion by the end of the semester to receive full credit.


    Small discussion – 1pt

    Large discussion – 1-4pts (based on the depth of knowledge shown by the student)

    Asking a question during any discussion that further develops the discussion – 1pt

    Pointing out an error or contradiction (tactfully) during a discussion – 1pt




    There are two assignments that fall into the participation category: Worksheets and Warm-ups


    Worksheets are collected on the day of the test and graded for both completion and correctness. Worksheets are scored at 5-points each.


    Warm-ups are collected on the day of the test and are graded for completion and correctness.  Warm-ups are scored at 1-point each.

    Note:  Worksheets and warm-ups are almost entirely gone over in class before they are collected for credit.  Because of this, it is expected that every student earn an "A" in this category.  Because of the ease in submitting correct and complete worksheets and warm-ups, it is possible that this category grade in no way reflects the true knowledge of the student.  Consequently, this is the lowest scored grade category.