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AP Results: More Test-Takers—But Achievement Amongst Minority Students Stagger

By Jenny Abamu     Feb 22, 2018

The College Board recently released its Advanced Placement (AP) program results for the class of 2017—and it’s largely a mixed bag, with a greater number of overall test takers but significant achievement gaps still impacting success rates. Here are some highlights:

1. Although the percentage of students taking the exam has increased over the past 10 years, going from 23.9 percent of the class of 2007 to 37.7 percent for the class of 2017, achievement between demographic groups continues to vary significantly. Of all the students taking the AP exam only 4.3 percent of those scoring a 3 or higher are Black/African American; the general score needed to get college credit for an AP course. By contrast, 55.6 percent of White students and 22.9 of Hispanic or Latino students scored a 3 or higher.

2. With schools such as Harvard and MIT in its corridors, Massachusetts has some top ranking universities. The state also has top test performers, with the highest number of students scoring a 3 or above on the exam (32.1 percent).

3. The number of students taking the Computer Science Principals AP exam continues to rise, with a stark increase of 79 percent since 2016. The number of girls, Latinos, blacks and rural students taking any computer science related AP exam has more than doubled over the course of the past year.

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