Chapter 8: State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Select Indicator:

Quartiles | Findings | Description

Share of public high school students taking Advanced Placement Exam: 2004


Share of public high school students taking Advanced Placement Exam: 2004


Share of Public High School Students Taking Advanced Placement Exam: 2004.

Quartiles


Share of public high school students taking Advanced Placement Exams: 2004*

 
1st Quartile
(33.5%–21.5%)
2nd Quartile
(21.3%–16.7%)
3rd Quartile
(16.4%–13.0%)
4th Quartile
(12.9%–5.0%)
 
California Alaska Arkansas Alabama
Colorado Delaware Hawaii Arizona
Connecticut Illinois Indiana Idaho
District of Columbia Maine Kentucky Iowa
Florida Michigan Minnesota Kansas
Georgia Nevada Montana Louisiana
Maryland New Jersey New Hampshire Mississippi
Massachusetts New Mexico Ohio Missouri
New York Oklahoma Oregon Nebraska
North Carolina South Carolina Pennsylvania North Dakota
Texas Vermont South Dakota Rhode Island
Utah Washington Tennessee Wyoming
Virginia Wisconsin West Virginia  
 
*States in alphabetical order, not data order.

SOURCE: College Board, Advanced Placement Report to the Nation: 2005. See table 8-11.

Top of page.Top of page

Findings

  • Nationwide, the percentage of public school students who took an AP Exam rose from 15.9% of the class of 2000 to 20.9% of the class of 2004.

  • The percentage of public school students taking an AP Exam varied greatly among states and ranged from 5.0% to 33.5% of the class of 2004, with 15 states exceeding the national average.

  • Values were higher for all states in 2004 than in 2000. Florida and Maryland showed the largest increases; class of 2004 members in the two states exceeded the performance of class of 2000 participants by 9 or more percentage points.

  • The ratio of the percentage of public school students who took an AP Exam to the percentage who achieved a grade of 3 or higher was consistent across many of the states, which may indicate a consistent degree of rigor in the AP curriculum.

Top of page.Top of page

Description

More than 1.1 million students took nearly 1.9 million Advanced Placement (AP) Exams in 2004. Generally, students who take AP Exams have completed a rigorous course of study in a specific subject area in high school with the expectation of obtaining college credit or advanced placement. AP Exams were taken most frequently in U.S. history, English literature and composition, English language and composition, calculus AB, and U.S. government and politics.

In the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 14,144 schools—about 40% of the schools that provide secondary education—participated in the AP program. Approximately 79% were public schools. The schools offered students an average of seven different AP courses. High school students’ participation in AP Exams is likely to reflect the access they had to AP courses and their willingness to undertake the more rigorous curriculum.

Top of page.Top of page
National Science Board.