Short Answer Questions(SAQs) - The Sprintz Site - Home
SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS (SAQS) SECTION 1 OF THE APUSH EXAM Part A: Multiple-choice questions (55 questions in 55 minutes) = 40% of Total exam score Part B: Short-answer questions (3 questions in 40 minutes) = 20% of Total exam score Required question 1: periods 3-8 Required question 2: periods 3-8
Choose between Question 3: periods 1-5 OR Question 4: periods 6-9 SAQS: THE BASICS Section I, Part B of the APUSH Exam consists of 4 short-answer questions. You are required to answer the first and second questions and then answer either the third OR fourth question. The 1st question primarily assesses the practice of analyzing secondary sources, asking students to respond in writing to a
historians argument. This question addresses content from periods 3-8 of the course. The 2nd question primarily assesses either the skill of causation or comparison, and ask students to respond in writing to a primary source (written text) or to visual sources such as images, charts, or maps. This question also addresses content form periods 3-8. SAQS: THE BASICS Section I, Part B of the APUSH Exam consists of 4 short-answer questions. You are required to answer the first and second questions and then answer either the third OR fourth
question. Students choose to answer either the 3 rd OR the fourth short-answer questions, which deal with periods 1-5 or 6-9, respectively. These questions ask students to respond in writing to general propositions about U.S. history, and they primarily assess the same skill, either causation or comparison: neither of them will assess the same skill as the 2nd short-answer question. SAQS: THE BASICS Each short-answer question asks students to describe
examples of historical evidence relevant to the source or question; these examples can be drawn from the concept outline or from other examples explored in depth during classroom instruction. Questions are broken into 3 parts: A, B, and C Difficulty varies between each part Parts can build off or reference each other HOW ARE THE SAQS SCORED? Each part (A, B, and C) are worth one point each for a total of three points per question.
Each part is scored separately. ETS describes the scoring as meeting a threshold. Did the student responses exhibit enough of the requirements to pass the threshold to receive the point? When it comes to a three, the variations can be expansive. A student could have an amazing answer or they could just barely meet the requirements. Since both of the students met these requirements, then they would both receive a score of three. CHARACTERISTICS OF SAQS Provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best
Directly target particular historical thinking skills Require students to respond to general propositions about U.S. history Sometimes require students to respond to primary source texts, secondary source texts, or other stimuli such as charts, graphs, tables, maps, or images Require students to employ historical evidence or examples relevant to the source or question Always have three scoring points DO NOT require students to develop or support a thesis statement SAQ NUTS AND BOLTS
Label your responses (a), (b), and (c) makes it easier to score and give credit DO the tasks in order (within each question), there is usually a natural progression of ideas Stay within the box! Responses outside the box will not be read! Write in COMPLETE SENTENCES; NO bulleting information APE the SAQ A Historical Writing Strategy Adapted from John Burkowski Jr. & Dawn Clemens
Adapted and Revised PowerPoint Layout Created by Jessica Jenkins HOW TO ACE THE SAQ APE IT! Three sentences for each part of an SAQ question. A = Answer the question. You directly answer the question by identifying your historical claim. - Use specific factual information, if applicable. P = Provide examples. You provide examples that specifically support your claim.
- Use specific factual information. - In stimulus-based questions, use a word or image component. (snag a word/image) E = Explain. You explain how the evidence proves that assertion How and why your claim best addresses the intent of the question. ACE A (ANSWER) Depending on the prompt, this component requires you to directly answer the question by identifying a specific historical claim, general historical assertion, or historical interpretative
analysis. It is here where you confidently establish your historical argument. It is similar to making a thesis/argument claim in an essay or topic/main idea sentence in a supporting paragraph. APE A (ANSWER) In a situation of selecting provided options, identify the selected option. [SEE EXAMPLE PERIODIZATION] In a situation of identifying a similarity or difference,
be sure to directly address both components of comparison. [SEE EXAMPLE COMPARISON and EXAMPLE INTERPRETATION] APE P (PROVIDE EXAMPLES) Depending on the prompt, this component requires you to directly answer the question by identifying a specific historical claim, general historical assertion, or historical interpretative analysis. The definition/description should contain specific
factual information/evidence directly relevant to the prompt and Answer. APE P (PROVIDE EXAMPLES) In a situation where the Answer was identifying a specific historical claim, you should define or describe the claim [SEE EXAMPLE CAUSATION] In a situation where the Answer was a general historical assertion, you should cite a specific historical event, situation, or event to prove the assertion. [SEE EXAMPLE CONTINUITY/CHANGE OVER TIME]
In a situation where the Answer was a historical interpretative analysis, you should snag a word or phrase to substantiate the interpretative analysis. [SEE EXAMPLE INTERPRETATION] This does not mean to quote a word or phrase. In a situation where the Answer was identifying a claim from a list of options, you should define/describe the selected option. [SEE EXAMPLE PERIODIZATION] ACE E (EXPLAIN) This last component requires you to explain how your Answer best addresses the prompt.
Like any writing prompt on the AP exam, there exists an intent and focus to assess historical understanding on a targeted historical learning objective, key concept, and/or historical thinking skill. These questions are developed by historians and teachers of history. They are inherently designed to directly assess key concepts, but also assess broad historical phenomenon. The explanation should connect or tie back the Answer to the prompt and fulfill its historical intent. Why Explain? The explanation of the Answer should include a further connection to a
EXAMPLE CAUSATION Prompt (Part A): Briefly explain ONE important political response to the sectional conflict over slavery during the 1850s. ANSWER: The Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854 was another attempt to settle the sectional conflict over slavery during the 1850s. PROVIDE EXAMPLES: The act split the Nebraska Territory into two new territories, Nebraska and Kansas, and allowed each territory to determine free state or slave state through popular sovereignty.
EXPLAIN: Although the Kansas Nebraska Act attempted to settle the conflict over slavery through a more democratic means, it consequently allowed slavery to expand beyond the Missouri Compromise line of 3630 and was considered a political victory for slave power. EXAMPLE COMPARISON Prompt (i.e. Part A): Briefly explain ONE important difference between the Northern regional economy and the Southern regional economy in the period from 1800 to 1850. ANSWER: The Northern regional economy developed a new industrial and manufacturing
base while the Southern regional economy preserved its predominantly agrarian society. PROVIDE EXAMPLES: The Lowell System pioneered manufacturing and mass production in the North while the South continued to expand cash crop plantations, such as cotton. EXPLAIN: The increase in factories in the North developed a more fluid wage-earning free labor class whereas the Southern plantation economy preserved the rigid social hierarchy and slave labor. EXAMPLE CONTINUITY/CHANGE OVER
TIME EXAMPLE PERIODIZATION EXAMPLE ANALYZING EVIDENCE (POLITICAL CARTOON/PAINTING/IMAGE) EXAMPLE INTERPRETATION
GENERAL WRITING GUIDELINES Be explicit. Always use specific factual and historical evidence and avoid answering only in generalizations. Do not quote words or phrases from excerpts. [See Cite for further clarification.] Unnecessary phrases to avoid: According to the historian, As seen in the excerpt/graph/image, As written/mentioned by Use active verbs and active voice.
Diction and syntax play an important role in establishing a confident historical claim and assertion in addition to developing concise responses. GENERAL -> Europeans brought over diseases to the Americas and it had an impact on Native populations. GO FOR THIS -> Contagious European diseases decimated Native populations. STRATEGIC VALUE OF APE Keeps SAQ responses concise. Increases likelihood of earning each point, particularly on interpretation prompts. Develops ability to prove and substantiate claims and explanations.
Serves as a scaffolding technique for DBQ and LEQ essay responses. Encourages sophisticated historical writing. Should be constantly and consistently applied with SAQ assessments. GENERAL SAQ GUIDELINES Label each part (a, b, c) in the left-side margins outside the box. Do not skip lines or double-line. Do not indent. Do not write an introduction or conclusion. This is not an essay. Write in complete sentences. No bullet points or sentence fragments.
Complete each task in order; A, B, C. You may write any of the four SAQs in any order. Recommended to answer in the order of most confidence first.
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