More Washington students are taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams, according to a national report released today by the College Board.
AP exams, which are offered in 34 subjects, are given each May and are scored on a scale of one to five. Many high schools offer AP classes in one or more of the subjects tested. The courses are widely considered to be a “gold standard” for high school students seeking academic rigor, and colleges can award credits to high school graduates based on how well they score on AP tests.
Because a central source of demographic data for nonpublic schools is not available for all states, the College Board report released today represents public school students only.
The report shows that 20,581 Washington students (or 32.8 percent) in the class of 2012 took at least one AP exam. That number is up from 8,513 (or 14.6 percent) in 2002.
In 2012, 20.0 percent of Washington’s 12th graders scored a three or greater on an AP test – the minimum score needed for college credit. In 2002, only 9.6 percent scored as well.
The 10.4 percentage-point increase in the past 10 years ranks Washington eighth among all states, in terms of percentage increase. The national average increase for the same period was 7.9 percent.
Washington ranked 15th in the nation, with the greatest number of 12th graders (20.0 percent) scoring three or greater on AP exams – Maryland was first at 29.6 percent. The national average was 19.5 percent.
The most popular AP exams for Washington’s class of 2012 were (in order): English language, U.S. history, English literature, calculus AB, U.S. government and politics, world history, biology, statistics, chemistry and psychology, according to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
For more information and to view the “AP Report to the Nation,” including state-by-state results, please visit www.collegeboard.com/apreport.