Starting today, millions of high school students across the country will take Advanced Placement (AP) exams. These tests are the culmination of rigorous, college-level course work available in 38 different subjects. Developed by The College Board, AP classes afford students the chance to experience in-depth learning while potentially earning college credit.
While there’s been a steady rise of criticism against some types of standardized testing, AP courses remain a popular option for students. And it’s easy to see why. The College Board reports that “eighty-five percent of selective colleges and universities say that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions” and that ” students who take AP are much more likely than their peers to complete a college degree on time.” In 2015, over two million students took over four million AP exams.
The Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) collects data from each school district about AP testing. We took at look at that data for EEN’s districts to provide a snapshot of how many students are taking AP exams and what scores they earned. Note that many (not all) colleges will grant credit or placement with a 3, 4 or 5 score.
|School District||Total # of HS students (grades 9-12)||# of exam takers||Percent of HS students taking AP exams||Total # exams taken||Number of exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5||Percent of exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5|
Recently in Washington, Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib headed up a successful effort to raise money to cover the testing fees for AP and other tests for low-income students this school year, covering a one-time gap federal funds (exam fees range from $53 to $116).
EEN intern Cami Brix provided research and data analysis for this post.