Evil Steve's How-To Guide to the Softest AP Tests
07/14/2009
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Following up last night's VDARE.com article on Advanced Placement testing, I've been mulling some more over the problem off how to find the easiest Advanced Placement tests for high school students to pass in order to get free college credit. All AP Tests are fairly hard, but which ones take the minimum combination of IQ, math skills, and midnight oil to squeeze by with a passing score of at least 3 out of 5?

So, I've come up with a methodology that I suspect you wouldn't find anywhere else: Relative to Asians, which AP tests do blacks do best on in terms of passed tests per capita? In other words, if all you want to do is to find some AP Test where you can skate through with a passing score like a cool black kid rather than grind it out like an Asian nerd, then you want to look at tests where blacks do best relative to Asians.

(Obviously, this is a relativistic comparison, not an absolute one. Overall, in absolute per capita terms, Asians pass 20 times as many AP tests as blacks do, so Asians do much better on each of the three dozen AP tests than blacks do. I won't bore you with a detailed explanation of my relativism-squared methodology: in brief, I'm comparing black passing rates per test relative to the overall black passing rate relative to the same comparison for Asians.)

The rank order turned out to fit my a priori stereotypes to a T. Relative to Asians, blacks did worst on the monster science and math tests like the upper level Computer Science AB test, Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism, and upper level Calculus BC. Blacks did best on the softer-sounding social science, humanities, hands-on art, and language tests.

 Black Asian Black/Asian Total Exams Passed Per 1,000 Youths 57.9 1,148.1 100 Computer Science AB 0.0 5.5 18 Physics C: Elec. & Magnet. 0.1 11.3 22 Calculus BC 1.2 73.1 32 Physics C: Mechanics 0.4 23.3 32 Chemistry 1.4 66.7 41 Computer Science A 0.2 10.7 42 Physics B 0.8 34.2 45 Economics: Micro 0.7 24.0 56 Statistics 1.8 58.1 62 Economics: Macro 1.0 33.0 63 Biology 2.6 78.8 65 Calculus AB 4.3 107.8 79 European History 1.7 40.5 85 Latin: Vergil 0.1 2.1 86 Art: History 0.4 7.9 94 German: Language 0.0 1.0 96 Latin: Literature 0.1 1.4 100 Government & Politics Comp. 0.3 5.2 103 Environmental Science 1.1 20.2 104 Spanish Language 0.9 16.7 105 Spanish Literature 0.1 1.7 115 Music Theory 0.4 6.1 118 Government & Politics U.S. 3.6 57.6 124 US History 6.7 107.8 124 World History 3.1 49.1 124 Studio Art: Drawing 0.5 6.5 150 English Lang. & Composition 8.6 102.9 166 English Lit & Composition 8.3 97.4 168 French: Literature 0.1 0.6 170 Psychology 4.9 55.2 175 Human Geography 1.2 12.1 205 Italian Lang. & Culture 0.0 0.1 214 Studio Art: 2-D Design 0.5 4.7 217 Studio Art: 3-D Design 0.1 0.6 224 French: Language 0.8 6.3 251

In this table, the first row is the aggregate across all AP tests per 1,000 students. In 2008, blacks passed a little under 0.06 AP tests per kid, while Asians pass about 1.15 tests each. In other words, on average, blacks pass about 1/20th as many AP tests per capita as Asians, so we'll set that level of relative performance to 100. For, say, Calculus BC, 1.2 out of every 1,000 blacks of the relevant age passed versus 73.1 out of every 1000 Asians, or 1/62nd as many, which is only 32% as good as the overall 1/20th rate. In contrast, at the bottom of the list on French Language, blacks did 1/8th as well per capita as Asians did, which is 251% of their typical performance relative to Asians.

So, Psychology, Human Geography, the two Englishes, and World History look pretty doable, with Environmental Science the easiest of the science tests. In contrast, on this scale, European History is the hardest of the purely verbal tests.

One bias to keep in mind in this scale is that I would bet that females take a large majority of the AP tests among blacks, but not among Asians. This might partially account for the relatively strong black performance in French. (Also, there may a certain number of black immigrant families that speak French at home, from Haiti and West Africa.)

Also, remember the distinction between one year and multi-year subjects. The French Literature AP Exam is, apparently, a piece of cake ... assuming you've already spent years learning French and reading the classics of French Literature. On the other hand, the Psychology exam is intended to cover what you'd learn from scratch in a one-semester college Psychology 101 course.

In the comments, Lucius Vorenus points out that this table doesn't constitute hatefacts or hatestats, but an until-now never before defined category of knowledge: hatecalcs.

Also, the term "Stevil" could be useful for the act of looking up diversity data for objective, non-Who? Whom? purposes.