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The old scores as awarded by the College Board will be helpful in establishing a ballpark—obviously a 9 is still going to be a good essay using the current 7-point scale—but there may be some modest differences in grades between the two scales.(Maybe that perfect 9 is now a 6 out of 7 due to rubric changes.) For practice grading with old samples, you might want to pull out two copies of the current rubric, recruit a trusted study buddy or academic advisor (or even two study buddies! You can then discuss any major differences in the grades each of you awarded.
That said, not all DBQ essay examples are created equal.
I’ll briefly cover what makes a good DBQ example and then provide a list of example essays by course.
General comments on the quality of the essay, outside information, and document analysis still apply, but the score is on a 9-point scale instead of the current 7-point scale, and some of the particulars will be different.
Older DBQs had up to 12 documents, while the current format has six to seven documents.
Having multiple sets of eyes will help you see if the scores you're giving are reasonable, since you won’t have an official 7-point College Board score for comparison.
The answer to this question depends on your study plans.
If there are points you are consistently awarding differently than the graders, you’ll know those are skills you'll need to work on.
Keep giving points for the thesis and then finding out the sample didn't get those points? Not giving points for historical context and then finding out the AP grader gave full credit?
Lastly, I’ll give you some helpful tips on how to best use sample essays in your own preparation process.
Some DBQ examples outside those available from the College Board might be worth looking at, particularly if they highlight how a particular essay could be improved.