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”

Basic FRQ information for the APES exam

  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…….
  5. For a document question (#1), you DO NOT need to quote the document. Read it to get ideas, but pull specific information or examples out of your brain.
  6. Write an economic term ($ or jobs) for an economic question

FRQ Terms for the AP® Environmental APES Exam

  • Identify, Provide or List: Simple answer with a complete sentence.
  • Define: A Definition
  • Describe:  Needs additional information beyond a simple answer. 1-2 complex sentences only—not a paragraph.
  • Explain: A process requiring steps in order. OR, more detail and info than “describe”.
  • Discuss:  A 2-part answer: Cause and Effect OR this leads to that. Use a conjunction such
    • “________________ leads to ___________________”
    • “________________ causes ____________________”
    • “_________________which ___________________”
    • “_________________because __________________”
  • Calculate: A math problem to solve.
    • Show set-up WITH UNITS on the lines
    • Show answer WITH UNITS
    • Scratch math can be done on the side.
    • Does not need complete sentences
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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