Md. AP test scores among nation's best

State's seniors rank second only to N.Y. in percentage pass rate, well above U.S. average

February 07, 2007|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,Sun Reporter

Maryland public high school seniors have one of the highest success rates on Advanced Placement tests in the nation, according to a College Board report released yesterday.

The state, which has encouraged school systems to open the AP courses to more minority students and to provide training for more AP teachers, has nearly doubled the number of graduating seniors who are taking the exams from 2000 to 2006. Today, a third of seniors have taken at least one AP course and exam.

At the same time, the percentage of graduating seniors who scored 3 or better - the score required by many colleges to receive credit - has risen from 14 percent to 22 percent. Only New York state beat Maryland, with a percentage pass rate of 22.7 percent. The national average was 14.8 percent.

There remains, however, an achievement gap in Maryland for African-Americans, who represented a third of the state's population of graduating seniors but only 14 percent of its test-takers.

The College Board, which writes and grades the tests, pointed to a new independent study which it said shows a correlation between scoring well on the AP exams and success in college. Those who score well on the exams are also more likely to graduate from college within five years.

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