Education
4:57 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Kentucky Students Make Strides in AP Testing

Over 12,000 Kentucky public high school graduates took an Advanced Placement exam last year, according to new data released Wednesday by the College Board.

That’s nearly a 75 percent increase from Kentucky’s graduating class five years ago. Half of those students--or 6,067--received a high enough score to qualify for credit at the college level, which is a benefit of taking AP courses and exams.

Last year, WFPL reported on the total number of Kentucky public school students who have taken at least one exam. That number has seen a steady increase since 2008 when the state increased efforts to make AP classes and exams more accessible to students.

“As higher education institutions have become more competitive and have begun to request to see AP scores, there’s been a desire among students, a commitment to not just taking the AP course but to learning the material at a deep and rich level so that they would be successful on the AP exam," said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of the AP Program. 

While Kentucky's increasing rate of success on AP exams has outpaced the national average over the last 10 years, the state still remains lower than the nation average on total percentage of graduating students having completed an AP exam with a high enough score to receive college credit.  

College Board president David Coleman says the largest area of opportunity for more AP participants is among minorities and low-income students. 

Kentucky data shows the number of African-American and Hispanic students participating in AP exams are growing at the fastest rates in the state, but the percentage of students taking AP exams in the two minority groups--when compared to the demographics--still lags behind white students.