Mar 6, 2013

Maryland and Virginia score at the Top on Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

Once again, Maryland and Virginia claimed top spots in performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams administered to graduating public school students in 2012, according to the College Board’s 9th Annual AP Report to the Nation.

For the fifth consecutive year, Maryland had the nation’s highest percentage (29.6%) of seniors scoring a passing mark (at least 3 out of 5) on at least one AP exam—up 1.7 percentage points over last year. Virginia placed fifth at 27.2 percent, just behind New York (28%), Massachusetts (27.9%), and Florida (27.3%). This compares with 19.5 percent of all public high school students from the class of 2012 who completed high school with at least one successful AP experience.

In Maryland, more than half of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Class of 2012 (52.3%) received a college-ready score on at least on AP exam—significantly higher than the state of Maryland (29.6%) and the nation (19.5%). In addition, more than two-thirds of 2012 MCPS grads (67.3%) took at least one AP exam while in high school—a district record, which is also significantly higher than the state (48.2%) and the nation (32.4%).

“MCPS students continue to perform extremely well on Advanced Placement exams, demonstrating their desire to be challenged and their readiness for college-level work,” said Board of Education President Christopher S. Barclay.

Note that the county's test-by-test results are provided on the MCPS website (scroll to Tables B1 and B2).

Across the Potomac in Fairfax County, the number of students taking AP exams in 2012 rose by 5.2 percent, with 16,356 students taking a total of 35,759 tests. The highest achievement rates (scores of 3 or better) were in AP Calculus BC (89%), AP Chinese Language and Culture (97%), AP English Language and Composition (79 %), AP French Language and AP German Language (81%), AP Studio Art: 2-D Design (90%), and AP World History (80%). AP Latin: Vergil (44%) and AP Physics B (50%) were among the lowest performing exams in Fairfax County.  A county-wide summary of performance in all subject areas is available on the FCPS website.

According to the College Board, research shows that students who score a 3 or higher on AP exams “typically experience stronger college outcomes than otherwise comparable non-AP peers.” As the AP report clearly demonstrates, high schools have responded by increasing the availability of AP courses and encouraging more students to take AP exams.

A complete copy of the 2013 AP Report to the Nation is available on the College Board website.

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