New Report on Minority Students and AP Programs for College Credit

AP ExamAdvanced Placement exams give college-bound high school students a leg up in their undergraduate careers, allowing these college students the opportunity to pass out of intro classes and start working toward their college major from the get-go–granted they score the necessary 3, 4 or 5 that are required for college credit.

A new report written about in The New York Times higher education blog The Choice illustrates that more minority high school students are making the grade on AP exams, but still remained underrepresented overall in the nation’s AP classroom.

More than 853,000 public high school seniors in last May’s graduating class, or 28 percent of the class, took at least one A.P. exam. Some 59 percent of those who took the tests earned a grade of 3, 4 or 5, which are required for college credit.

Trevor Packer, vice president of the Advanced Placement program, said that while the report shows that more students across the country enroll each year in classes to prepare them for the exams, there are some signs that improvement is not consistent among some groups and in some subject areas.Over the past decade, the number of minority students graduating with a successful A.P. experience has more than doubled, according to the report.

“A focus on access and equity is resulting in greater percentages of students going into college with A.P. scores that qualify and result in higher college performance,’’ he said.”

But the gap between how those students performed, compared to nonminority students, is still great in most states in the country.

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