Thursday, March 10, 2016

Grads score well on AP exams

Illinois high school graduates rank 11th in the nation for the percentage of students scoring high enough to receive college credit on Advanced Placement exams, according to a state report released on March 8.

Among last year’s graduates, 25 percent received an AP exam score of at least 3 on the College Board Advanced Placement exams during their high school years, the Illinois State Board of Education added. Nationwide, 22.4 percent of last year’s graduates achieved a score of 3 or above.

“Illinois continues to move up the ladder of state performance as record numbers of high school students are taking these challenging, college-level exams,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “AP exams have a proven track record of giving students a valuable head start in their college coursework and can save time and money toward earning their degree.”

The exams measure a student’s content mastery of college-level studies in specific academic disciplines. Under a state law adopted last year, all public universities and public community colleges in Illinois are required to award college credit to students who submit scores of 3 or higher, starting in the 2016-17 school year.

Illinois continues to boast record numbers of graduates taking AP exams, with a total of 48,627 graduates (nearly 38 percent) taking at least one AP exam, more than double the amount of graduates who took the exam in 2005. The percentage of Illinois graduates who scored a 3 or higher grew by 11.7 percentage points from 13.3 percent in 2005 to 25 percent in 2015. Illinois is fourth in the nation for the largest percentage point increase over the last decade.

The latest AP results for Illinois are reported by the ISBE here.