The percentage of Georgia students in the Class of 2015 scoring 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement exam during high school is up, according to data released Wednesday by the College Board. Georgia is ranked 13th in the nation for the percentage of students scoring 3 or higher on at least one exam, and is one of just 15 states to exceed the national average.
Georgia is tied for third in the nation in one-year percentage-point growth in the percentage of public-school graduates scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam. Georgia is also 13th in the nation in 10-year percentage-point growth in the percentage of public-school graduates scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school (10.7 percentage-point growth since 2005).
Twenty-four percent of the Class of 2015 scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam, compared to a national average of 22.4 percent. That number rose by 1.8 percentage points from 2014 to 2015, even as participation increased. The number of students taking at least one AP exam rose from 41.6 percent in 2014 to 44.7 percent in 2015 — one of the highest participation rates in the nation.
Students typically earn at least three college credits for each AP score of 3 or higher, and Georgia students recorded 91,413 of those scores in 2015. At an average rate of $281.57 per credit hour, this represents a potential cost savings of $77,217,475 for Georgia’s students and families.
“Georgia’s students recorded a fantastic performance on the 2015 AP exams. Participation is up and scores are up, placing Georgia among the top tier for Advanced Placement scores in the United States,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “This is good for students and good for families. We know that participation is also rising among groups of students who are traditionally underrepresented, and we know we must continue to expand this opportunity to all students in our state.”
Georgia is also one of the top 10 states for increasing equitable participation in AP exams for low-income students. In Georgia, 59.7 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of poverty. In the Class of 2015, those students represented 33.6 percent of AP exam takers. That’s compared to a national average of 29.8 percent participation among low-income students.
Five Georgia high schools were also named winners of the AP Champion Award, which recognizes efforts toward eliminating barriers that restrict access to AP, evidence of efforts to ensure AP classes at the school reflect the diversity of the school’s population, the illustration of intentions to build and sustain a positive culture around AP and creative promotion of AP coursework. The winners were: Central High School (Carroll County), Dutchtown High School (Henry County), Carver High School (Muscogee County), Islands High School (Savannah-Chatham County), and Peachtree Ridge High School (Gwinnett County). Each winning school received a monetary stipend of $500 to advance its AP program.
· English language and composition was the most popular AP exam among Georgia test takers, with 16,272 students taking the exam. Rounding out the 10 most popular AP exams were: U.S. history, world history, English literature and composition, U.S. government and politics, psychology, statistics, calculus AB, human geography and macroeconomics.
· Participation in Georgia has risen without a drop in scores, increasing from 23.7 percent for the Class of 2005 to 44.7 percent for the Class of 2015.