Oct 6, 2020

AP World History Students Receive Unprecedented 100% Pass Rate

AP World History Students Receive Unprecedented 100% Pass Rate

 

Recently, MPCS announced that 73 of its high school students and recent graduates earned Advanced Placement Scholar Awards for 2020, in recognition of their exceptional achievement on cumulative AP exams. Notably, MPCS students taking the AP World History exam had an astounding 100-percent pass rate. According to Mr. Britt Cottingham, MPCS AP World History Teacher, the “normal” AP World History exam is 3 hours, 15 minutes, with 55 stimulus-based multiple choice questions, three short-answer questions, one long-essay question, and one document-based question. “It’s a marathon,” he says. 

Due to the COVID-19 situation in May, the College Board modified the AP exam’s format: a one question, 45-minute online document-based question essay was offered. “A sprint,” says Mr. Cottingham. “As MPCS transitioned to online learning in March, our students were continuing to attend virtual classes, read, study, and practice. We even had one Zoom session with our textbook co-author [that helped us] concentrate on the document-based question thinking and writing skills – developing arguments with evidence, contextualization, and sourcing.”

The students had to overcome incredible obstacles, including technical difficulties on test day.  One student had to email his response to the College Board when his submission wouldn’t go through, while two students had to take the makeup exam when their original submissions didn’t go through on time. Mr. Cottingham says, “No one quit – that’s what impressed me the most. These are high school sophomores, many of whom are taking an AP exam for the first time. I’ve been an AP Reader (scorer) for the national exam since 2008, so I was able to share with my 30 students my insights into what the graders are looking for in their essay. I had high hopes, but wasn’t expecting a 100-percent pass rate – the national ‘pass’ rate for the exam this year was 60 percent. Our sophomores have amazed me with their grit and determination!"

Bringing History to Life

For Mr. Cottingham, the more students are doing and thinking, the better. “One of [the MPCS] important Christian virtues is empathy, a critical skill for a student of history as well,” shares Mr. Cottingham. “History is a discipline, the art of reconstructing the past. The past is dates, facts, and things that ‘happened.’ I try to teach students history so that they have the tools to study the past. Anyone can Google dates and facts; I want [students] to be able to analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources critically.”

With advanced degrees in history and 22 years of teaching experience – 15 of which he has taught AP World History – Mr. Cottingham has learned a thing or two about making history “come to life”. Known for blasting classic 70s and 80s “dad rock” when students enter his classroom, sharing a historical hat collection, and awarding students with stickers for “honor, prestige, and glory”, Mr. Cottingham inspires students to learn beyond the classroom. “I encourage my students to go to history museums and write reports to replace grades, and I try to have my classroom take on the feel of a history museum. I want students engaged with the past, so we do simulations, read primary sources, and practice the historical-thinking skills (comparisons, causation, contextualization) and writing.” 

MeViking.jpgAbout Mr. Britt Cottingham

MPCS High School World History Teacher

His wife, Maki, an attorney, is advisor to the MPCS Mock Trial Team, and his two boys, Will and Eli, are students at the school.

Master of Arts in History, Georgia State University; Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Georgia State University; Bachelor of Arts in History, Berry College

22 years teaching, including 3 years at MPCS and 16 years at McEachern High School; 15 years teaching AP World History

 


Announcements

July 12 - Lower School New Family Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

July 14 - Lower School New Family Game Night, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

July 14 - Preschool/TK New Family Play Day, 6:30-7:15 p.m.

Sewell Cottage

July 14 - Preschool/TK New Family Play Day, 6:30-7:15 p.m.

Sewell Cottage

July 26-27 - High School Parking Assignments

July 30 - Senior Spots Painting Day

August 1 - PMI UP, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

New Student Orientation, Grades 10-12
Murray Innovation Center, Graham Commons

August 1 - PMI UP, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

New Student Orientation, Grades 10-12
Murray Innovation Center, Graham Commons

August 5 - K-Day, Lower School 101, Middle School 101, High School 101

August 5 - High School Social, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Dozier Circle

August 5 - High School Social, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Dozier Circle

August 8 - Preschool/TK Meet and Greet, 1:00 p.m.

August 9 - Back-2-School Night, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

August 11 - First Day of School, 7:50 a.m.

August 15 - Preschool/TK and Lower School Parent Orientation, 5:30 p.m.

August 16-17 - Picture Day

August 16 - High School Parent Orientation, 6:00 p.m.

August 18 - Middle School Parent Orientation, 6:00 p.m.

August 19 - Middle School Spiritual Emphasis House Day

August 22-23 - Lower School CoGAT Testing

August 29-September 1 - MAP Growth Testing

Lower and Middle School Students

August 29-September 1 - MAP Growth Testing

Lower and Middle School Students

August 29 - Ask the Experts, 6:00 p.m.

Visit with college representatives

August 29 - Ask the Experts, 6:00 p.m.

Visit with college representatives

August 30 - Picture Make-up Day

September 5 - Labor Day Holiday, No School

September 6/7-9 - High School Retreat

September 22-23 - Parent-Teacher Conference Days, Grades PK-8

Students in grades PK-8 do not attend classes. High school students DO attend classes.

September 22-23 - Parent-Teacher Conference Days, Grades PK-8

Students in grades PK-8 do not attend classes. High school students DO attend classes.

September 26-27 - Fall Break, No School

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