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

December 1 - MPCS Family Christmas

December 2-3 - Freedom 2.0 Retreat

Grades 9-11

December 2-3 - Freedom 2.0 Retreat

Grades 9-11

December 4 - Mock SAT/ACT

December 7 - Business-Owners Breakfast, 8:00 a.m.

December 7 - Band and Orchestra Christmas Concert, 7:00 p.m.

December 9 - Campus Preview, 9:00 a.m.

For prospective families

December 9 - Campus Preview, 9:00 a.m.

For prospective families

December 9 - Choral Christmas Concert, 7:00 p.m.

December 9 - "Living Biblically" Parent Theology Class

December 10 - Men of Mount Paran

December 11 - First LEGO League Robotics Tournament

December 11 - Serve Saturday

December 13-16 - High School Tests

End-of-Semester Testing

December 13-16 - High School Tests

End-of-Semester Testing

December 14 - ParentEd.: Teaching Fiscal Responsibility to Teens

7:00 p.m., Kristi Lynn Theatre

December 14 - ParentEd.: Teaching Fiscal Responsibility to Teens

7:00 p.m., Kristi Lynn Theatre

December 15 - NO Late Start

December 17 - Early Release

Carpool Dismissal Times:
Pink: 11:00 a.m.
Tan: 11:15 a.m.
White/Blue/Red/Green: 11:30 a.m.
Orange/Gray/Purple: 11:45 a.m.
Yellow: 12:00 p.m.
Black: 12:00 p.m.

December 17 - Early Release

Carpool Dismissal Times:
Pink: 11:00 a.m.
Tan: 11:15 a.m.
White/Blue/Red/Green: 11:30 a.m.
Orange/Gray/Purple: 11:45 a.m.
Yellow: 12:00 p.m.
Black: 12:00 p.m.

December 20 - January 3 - Christmas Break, No School

January 4 - Students Return, Classes Resume

January 20 - Lower School Parent Learning Walk

8:00 a.m., current families

January 20 - Lower School Parent Learning Walk

8:00 a.m., current families

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