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Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Percentage of public high school students taking Advanced Placement Exams



Findings

  • Nationwide, the percentage of public school students who took an AP Exam rose from 15.9% of the class of 2000 to 28.3% of the class of 2010.
  • The percentage of public school students taking an AP Exam varied greatly among states and ranged from 10.4% to 43.5% of the class of 2010. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia exceeded the 2000 national average in 2010, 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 2010 than in 2000. Arkansas showed the largest increase, with the class of 2010 exceeding the participation of the class of 2000 by more than 28 percentage points.


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 represents the percentage of students in the graduating class who have taken one or more AP Exams.

Throughout the United States, nearly 853,000 public school students from the class of 2010 took nearly 2.5 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.

Students from the class of 2010 attended 12,705 U.S. public schools that participated in the AP program. These schools make an average of 10 different AP courses available to their students.

Data Table

Table 8-12
Public high school students taking Advanced Placement Exams, by state: 2000, 2005, and 2010
(Percent)
 
State 2000 2005 2010
 
United States 15.9 22.7 28.3
Alabama 7.2 9.7 19.5
Alaska 15.4 18.8 22.3
Arizona 11.3 14.6 15.6
Arkansas 8.1 24.0 36.6
California 22.2 30.2 34.0
Colorado 18.6 26.7 34.6
Connecticut 19.1 26.0 32.2
Delaware 13.3 24.8 28.1
District of Columbia 17.3 27.0 25.1
Florida 22.7 32.9 43.5
Georgia 17.2 24.4 37.3
Hawaii 10.6 16.5 19.6
Idaho 9.6 14.3 16.3
Illinois 13.4 19.8 26.3
Indiana 11.9 18.4 29.3
Iowa 6.9 10.2 14.4
Kansas 7.0 9.8 16.0
Kentucky 10.6 17.1 24.4
Louisiana 3.2 4.9 11.4
Maine 14.8 22.3 31.6
Maryland 20.2 31.5 43.4
Massachusetts 19.6 26.2 33.2
Michigan 13.9 18.0 23.2
Minnesota 13.4 17.6 26.4
Mississippi 5.6 8.7 14.1
Missouri 5.5 9.2 13.4
Montana 10.1 15.2 18.0
Nebraska 5.0 7.3 12.4
Nevada 15.1 20.3 28.3
New Hampshire 13.3 17.6 22.7
New Jersey 17.9 23.0 25.6
New Mexico 11.1 18.0 22.3
New York 27.3 34.8 38.0
North Carolina 19.7 29.7 28.8
North Dakota 5.9 8.8 10.4
Ohio 11.3 16.4 18.9
Oklahoma 9.5 17.7 20.8
Oregon 10.5 16.4 23.4
Pennsylvania 12.4 15.7 19.7
Rhode Island 10.7 12.4 17.9
South Carolina 17.7 21.6 26.8
South Dakota 9.6 14.1 18.4
Tennessee 10.4 15.1 18.6
Texas 16.6 25.1 30.2
Utah 24.5 29.1 28.4
Vermont 16.6 22.7 31.8
Virginia 25.0 30.1 38.1
Washington 11.5 21.1 28.0
West Virginia 8.4 12.0 18.4
Wisconsin 15.2 21.1 26.3
Wyoming 6.1 11.4 15.7
       
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 2012

Source Data

State Data Tool

The state data tool allows interactive exploration of the 58 indicators in this chapter. Users have the ability to choose and explore a single indicator in-depth, compare multiple indicators for preselected groups, customize their own graphics, or download data tables. Click the button below to get started.