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Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education


Share of Public High School Students Taking Advanced Placement Exams


Quartiles

Share of public high school students taking Advanced Placement Exams: 2008 (Percent)
 
1st quartile
(37.2% – 28.4%)
2nd quartile
(27.6% – 21.2%)
3rd quartile
(21.1% – 15.3%)
4th quartile
(15.0% – 8.4%)
 
Arkansas‡ Delaware‡ Alaska‡ Alabama‡
California District of Columbia Hawaii‡ Arizona
Colorado Illinois Indiana Idaho‡
Connecticut Minnesota Kentucky‡ Iowa
Florida Nevada‡ Michigan Kansas‡
Georgia New Jersey Montana‡ Louisiana‡
Maine‡ New Mexico‡ New Hampshire‡ Mississippi‡
Maryland Oregon Ohio Missouri
Massachusetts South Carolina‡ Oklahoma‡ Nebraska‡
New York Texas Pennsylvania North Dakota‡
North Carolina Utah South Dakota‡ Rhode Island‡
Vermont‡ Washington Tennessee Wyoming‡
Virginia Wisconsin West Virginia‡
 
‡ EPSCoR state

SOURCE: College Board, Advanced Placement Report to the Nation. See Data Table.



Findings

  • Nationwide, the percentage of public school students who took an AP Exam rose from 15.9% of the class of 2000 to 25.0% of the class of 2008.
  • The percentage of public school students taking an AP Exam varied greatly among states and ranged from 8.4% to 37.2% of the class of 2008. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia exceeded the 2000 national average in 2008, compared with 15 states and the District of Columbia that exceeded the national average in 2000.
  • AP participation levels were higher for all jurisdictions in 2008 than in 2000. Arkansas showed the largest increase, with the class of 2008 exceeding the participation of the class of 2000 by more than 25 percentage points. Many of the EPSCoR states had the lowest AP Exam participation rates.


Description

Participation in the Advanced Placement (AP) program provides a measure of the extent to which a rigorous curriculum is available to and used by high school students. This indicator measures the percentage of students in the graduating class who have taken one or more AP Exams. This percentage is calculated by dividing the number of students in the graduating class who have taken at least one AP Exam by the total number of students in the graduating class.

Throughout the United States, nearly 758,000 public school students from the class of 2008 took nearly 2.2 million AP Exams during their high school careers. 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, students from the class of 2008 attended 12,323 U.S. public schools that participated in the AP program. This represented 79% of the public high schools in the United States. These schools make an average of 10 different AP courses available to their students.

Data Table

Table 8-12
Share of public high school students taking Advanced Placement Exams, by state: 2000, 2004, and 2008
(Percent)
 
State 2000 2004 2008
 
United States 15.9 20.9 25.0
Alabama 7.2 8.8 13.5
Alaska 15.4 16.7 20.3
Arizona 11.3 12.9 14.0
Arkansas 8.1 13.0 33.3
California 22.2 28.5 30.8
Colorado 18.6 25.3 30.5
Connecticut 19.1 24.6 29.0
Delaware 13.3 19.6 26.8
District of Columbia 17.3 23.1 26.3
Florida 22.7 33.5 34.0
Georgia 17.2 21.5 30.3
Hawaii 10.6 14.8 16.6
Idaho 9.6 12.5 14.5
Illinois 13.4 18.6 22.8
Indiana 11.9 15.5 19.8
Iowa 6.9 10.0 12.6
Kansas 7.0 9.2 13.7
Kentucky 10.6 15.5 19.8
Louisiana 3.2 5.0 8.4
Maine 14.8 19.9 31.9
Maryland 20.2 29.2 37.2
Massachusetts 19.6 25.3 29.2
Michigan 13.9 16.8 20.2
Minnesota 13.4 16.4 22.5
Mississippi 5.6 7.0 12.6
Missouri 5.5 8.1 10.8
Montana 10.1 13.0 15.9
Nebraska 5.0 6.3 10.7
Nevada 15.1 19.8 24.6
New Hampshire 13.3 16.0 21.1
New Jersey 17.9 21.3 24.2
New Mexico 11.1 17.0 21.5
New York 27.3 32.4 35.4
North Carolina 19.7 26.9 28.4
North Dakota 5.9 8.4 10.4
Ohio 11.3 15.2 17.6
Oklahoma 9.5 17.0 20.2
Oregon 10.5 13.6 21.2
Pennsylvania 12.4 14.9 17.9
Rhode Island 10.7 12.1 14.9
South Carolina 17.7 19.2 23.1
South Dakota 9.6 13.5 16.0
Tennessee 10.4 13.6 16.5
Texas 16.6 23.2 27.5
Utah 24.5 27.6 27.6
Vermont 16.6 21.2 29.0
Virginia 25.0 28.1 34.1
Washington 11.5 18.5 25.0
West Virginia 8.4 13.0 15.3
Wisconsin 15.2 20.0 24.2
Wyoming 6.1 11.2 15.0
       
Puerto Rico NA NA NA
 

NA = not available

NOTE: National average for United States is reported value in Advanced Placement Report to the Nation.

SOURCE: College Board, Advanced Placement Report to the Nation (various years).

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010

Source Data
 

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010   Arlington, VA (NSB 10-01) | January 2010