FRQ tips for the AP®Environmental Science Exam

These are some basic guidelines for writing FRQs. For help with math, read “What students need to know about the math for the AP Environmental Science Exam”

FRQ Reminders in AP Environmental Science 

  1. Always write in complete sentences.
  2. Don’t write more than the question asks for.
    1. If the FRQ asks for two examples, only the first two examples that you write are graded. 
    2. If you write more, the graders will read them to check for contradictions, but you will not earn points. Contradictions will take away points.
  3. Introductory sentences or re-stating the question is not necessary. No points removed, but it can take precious time.
  4. Label each section: a. b. ci……. DO NOT write one giant paragraph and write on the lines.
  5. You can answer out of order—just make sure to label.
  6. Write an economic term ($ or jobs) for an economic question.

FRQ Task Verbs 

Identify, Provide or List: Simple answer with a complete sentence.

Describe:  Needs additional information beyond a simple answer. 1-2 complex sentences.

Justify: Provide evidence to support, qualify, or defend a claim and/or provide reasoning to explain HOW that evidence supports the claim.

Make a Claim: Make an assertion based on evidence or knowledge with a “Because” or “Which leads to”.

Calculate: A math problem to solve. Show set-up and answer WITH UNITS.  (Does not need complete sentence)

Explain: HOW or WHY something occurs. 

  • Use evidence and/or reasoning.
  • Sometimes, it is a process requiring steps in order.
  • Use “because” for “why” questions.
Make sure you write your set up WITH UNITS and your answer WITH UNITS on the lines.

Don’t forget to review content, vocab and information

Make sure you are studying your notes, textbook and/or a review book. Some favorite review books are: A Cartoon Guide to the Environment and ASAP and
Five Steps to a Five. But many others are good as well (Barrons, and ones by textbook publishers).

This is a well-used review book for many years of APES content review.

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