UWorld and College Board®’s AP Classroom are two of the top-ranking resources among students who want to prepare for AP exams. For educators and administrators, choosing which AP resources to use to supplement instruction and support students isn’t a matter of AP Classroom vs. UWorld. Instead, the most effective way to prepare students is to learn how to use both of them together. In this article, we’ll offer a snapshot of some key differences between UWorld’s Learning Tools for AP Courses and AP Classroom from College Board. Then, we’ll explore how teachers can combine the strengths of these two tools as a means to achieve AP course and exam success with their students.
What features make the best AP resources for teachers?
In order to understand the symbiotic benefits of AP Classroom and UWorld , we first need to understand the specific features that make up the best AP teaching and learning tools. For starters, the most effective AP student resources offer rigorous practice questions that authentically mimic those on AP exams. Strong learning tools also provide authentic data to both teachers and administrators so they can make instructional decisions and monitor progress. As students complete assignments and practice assessments, teachers can see what knowledge gaps or misconceptions their students may have. Administrators can gauge learning outcomes for each AP class, compare classroom and school performance, and measure program effectiveness across the district.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the best AP tools support teachers by providing immediate feedback to students when they miss a question, allowing students to understand why they missed it so they can learn from their mistakes. This feature helps extend the reach of the teacher and differentiate instruction based on student needs.
Top Seven AP Teaching & Learning Tool Features
Rigorous AP practice questions that mimic the ones on AP exams.
Immediate explanatory feedback for every question with adequate detail and visual aids to help students learn and retain information.
Standardized assessments that effectively measure student progress across a school and/or district.
Easy-to-use interface, and user-friendly experience that truly saves teachers time and effort.
Insightful data and reporting for both teachers and administrators on the student, class, campus, and district levels.
A variety of teaching and study tools to support learning - like the ability to create presentations for the teacher or Flashcard features for students.
Robust training and support for educators so they know how to start using the resources on day one and get the most out of them.
UWorld Learning Tools for AP Courses vs College Board AP Classroom
When comparing AP Classroom vs UWorld’s Learning Tools for AP Courses, there are a few distinct areas that make these resources different. Understanding these contrasting features is the perfect way to see how the two resources actually complement each other.
UWorld vs AP Classroom - AP Unit Tests
At the end of each AP course unit, UWorld offers rigorous assessments that give teachers a clear picture of student mastery before moving on to the next unit. The Unit Tests can be controlled and pushed out by administrators and are specifically designed to give leaders valuable information on where there are challenges so they can provide support and see how students might perform on their exams early on. Additionally, the questions on the Unit Tests are protected content, meaning students cannot find the answers with a simple Google search.
While AP Classroom offers progress checks that can be sent to students by unit, these are completely controlled by the teacher and there is no visibility into performance at the campus and district level. UWorld’s Unit Tests can be used in conjunction with free AP progress checks to not only monitor mastery but review unit objectives, deepen learning, or reassess skills after students have had more instruction or practice.
UWorld vs AP Classroom - AP Practice Questions and Explanations
AP Classroom College Board provides students with practice questions and videos to support concepts, and while they do offer answer explanations for some of their practice questions, feedback is often minimal. With UWorld’s Learning Tools for AP Courses, students review with authentic practice questions, as well as quality explanations for both right and wrong answer choices on every single question. Detailed feedback helps students develop critical thinking skills and metacognition, as it deepens understanding and improves retention. These detailed explanations are the foundation of UWorld and all include embedded support for students. Accentuated with vivid illustrations, mini-lessons, vocabulary support, and detailed step-by-step problem solving tips, these explanations truly bring difficult concepts to life. For this reason, misconceptions are easily understood by students, strengthening their confidence in the course objectives.
UWorld vs AP Classroom - Ease of Use
Teaching AP courses requires a lot of preparation, so it’s important that the learning tools teachers use with their students are efficient and intuitive. Everything from initial setup and training to monitoring progress is meant to be easy and efficient so teachers don’t have to work harder. Finding content and resources in AP Classroom can be a little tricky. Some teachers have a hard time creating assignments for students because they do not know how to find what they are looking for. UWorld took teacher feedback around how content should be organized and took great care to design an easy-to-use interface and intuitive experience. Everything is easy to find, meaning teachers can spend more time on instruction.
UWorld vs AP Classroom - Data and Reporting
Teachers rely on the data they collect from student assignments, progress checks, and assessments with both AP Classroom and UWorld to differentiate student learning and gauge mastery of difficult AP concepts. However, teachers are not the only educators who benefit from insight into usage and performance.
UWorld has robust data dashboards at all levels so leaders can monitor program effectiveness, as well. Detailed reports can be viewed at the student level, by class, teacher, or content area all the way up to the district level. Leaders can see where they may need to lend their support, when to celebrate success, and even measure test-readiness across courses.
UWorld vs. AP Classroom - AP Study Features
When using UWorld, students are able to highlight keywords, take notes, mark questions they want to return to later, and create flashcards for studying. Vivid images, definitions, hints, formula sheets, alternative methods, and mini-lessons are included to support students based on their individual needs. This kind of support is so detailed that it’s almost like students have a personal tutor with them at all times. AP Classroom provides students with practice questions and videos to support concepts. However, their answer explanations are minimal in nature. So, combining AP Classroom’s videos to introduce concepts and then using UWorld’s explanations to help student practice is a great option.
How can UWorld and AP Classroom be used together for AP success?
AP Classroom is clearly a great tool, but it is even better when used in conjunction with UWorld’s Learning Tools for AP Courses. Because AP Classroom is a free resource, a lot of teachers choose to use it in their AP classes. However, both UWorld and AP Classroom can actually be integrated into AP courses quite easily. When we use the differences between the two resources to our advantage, the result ends up being a strong asset for AP educators and more support for AP students:
Teachers often need more material to teach or reinforce concepts. With UWorld, teachers can create and share assignments with other educators in their school or district. Educators who want to make sure their students have access to detailed explanations in order to address misconceptions can assign their classes UWorld practice questions. On the other hand, if students are absent and need video lessons of concepts, or simply want some additional independent practice, teachers can direct them to AP Classroom.
Progress Checks in AP Classroom have begun to circulate among students online. Because UWorld’s Unit Tests are more secure, they provide a more reliable picture of students’ true progress. On the other hand, students are able to use their data from any additional practice they choose to complete in AP Classroom to set progress goals for themselves throughout the year and teachers may use that data for planning and review.
UWorld offers quality data reports for not only teachers, but also administrators on a student, class, campus, and district level. AP Classroom does not offer this level of reporting. UWorld’s unit tests can be used in conjunction with AP Classroom progress checks to review unit objectives, deepening student learning retention in the process.
While AP Classroom offers daily videos that can reinforce concepts and are great for homework assignments, utilizing UWorld’s presentation feature allows for further in-class teaching opportunities.
For districts, schools, and educators looking to enhance AP classes with quality questions, explanations, and data, UWorld offers an innovative AP resource that helps students master the concepts needed for AP course and exam success.
Both UWorld and AP Classroom are great AP resources for teachers and can be integrated into classes quite easily. However, teachers have found UWorld’s Learning Tools for AP Courses to be especially easy to use, saving them valuable time. Educators who use UWorld can effortlessly find, preview, and assign content aligned to their course to individuals or groups of students based on their unique needs.