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Georgia seniors make strides on AP exams
by Staff Reports
February 17, 2014 02:53 PM | 3832 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print

More Georgia seniors are scoring a 3 or higher – a passing score – on Advanced Placement (AP) exams compared to last year, according to the College Board’s AP Report to the Nation released Monday. The report shows 18,535 students scored a 3 or higher this year, compared to 17,767 last year. A higher percentage (21.3 percent) of Georgia’s seniors is scoring a 3 or higher compared to the U.S. average (20.1 percent) – one of 17 states to have a higher percentage than the national average. This report measures progress of the Class of 2013.

When results are broken out by subgroup, Georgia’s African-American students rank third in the nation in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams. Georgia’s 10-year increase (9.1 percent) in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams also shows impressive results, ranking 13th in the nation.

During the past decade, the number of Georgia graduates taking at least one AP exam has more than doubled, and the number of low-income students taking AP has increased more than tenfold. This expansion has resulted in a significant increase in the number of qualifying AP exam scores typically required for college credit.

“I’m delighted to see the continued growth of academic achievement by all students and the expanding access to such rigorous college-level courses,” said State School Superintendent John Barge. “The AP program offers students the skills they need for college success, and we are pleased to see dramatic growth in the number of students participating and succeeding in these courses.”

During the past decade, Georgia has made great strides in increasing AP access to a broader, more diverse group of students. More Georgia students than ever before are also succeeding on AP exams. Among the class of 2013:

 39.6 percent of public high school graduates took an AP exam, compared to 21.3 percent of graduates in the class of 2003.

 21.3 percent of public high school graduates scored 3 or higher on an AP exam, compared to 12.2 percent of graduates in the Class of 2003.

 10,953 low-income graduates in the class of 2013 took at least one AP exam during high school, more than 10 times the number of low-income graduates who took an AP exam in the class of 2003. Low-income graduates accounted for 22.9 percent of those who scored 3 or higher on an AP exam, compared to 3.9 percent of low-income graduates in the Class of 2003.

The demographics of both AP participation and success should reflect the demographics of the overall student population. Although challenges remain, data from the graduating class of 2013 show Georgia has succeeded in closing the equity gap in AP participation and AP success among Hispanic/Latino students. In 2013:

 8.3 percent of Georgia’s public high school graduating class was composed of Hispanic/Latinos, compared to 8.5 percent of AP test takers and 8.6 percent of those who scored a 3 or higher.

“Georgia’s administrators and educators are obviously committed to broadening AP access to more low-income and minority students,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president who leads the AP program. “We congratulate them on their successes and encourage them as they move forward to ensure that all students have the same opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The 10th annual AP Report to the Nation and the state supplement for Georgia are available at:

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