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Record Numbers Take Advanced Placement Courses

February 21, 2018
 
 

The College Board reported today that a record 1.17 million students in the high school Class of 2017 took at least one Advanced Placement course. That's up from 1.14 million in one year and far more dramatically over a decade. Of the Class of 2007, 23.9 percent took at least one AP course, but the share is 37.7 percent for the most recent class.

Many more minority students are also taking AP exams and scoring at least a 3 on them (typically the minimum score needed for college credit). But large gaps remain among racial and ethnic groups. For instance, Asian students make up 6 percent of the most recent high school class, but 11.7 percent of the share of that class scoring at least a 3 on an AP exam. Black students make up 14.4 percent of the class and 4.3 percent of those scoring 3 or above.

Bar chart: Demographics of the Class of 2017 and AP students scoring 3 or higher in the Class of 2017. Chart shows 1 percent of Class of 2017 were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 0.2 percent of those scoring 3 or higher were American Indian/Alaska Native. 6 percent of Class of 2017 were Asian, and 11.7 percent of those scoring 3 or higher were Asian. 14.4 percent of Class of 2017 were black or African-American, and 4.3 percent of those scoring 3 or higher were black or African-American. 14.4 percent of Class of 2017 were black or African-American, and 4.3 percent of those scoring 3 or higher were black or African-American. The percentage of the Class of 2017 who identified as Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander was not statistically significant; 0.1 percent of Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander students scored 3 or higher. 56.3 percent of Class of 2017 were white, and 55.6 percent of those scoring 3 or higher were white. The percentage of the Class of 2017 who identified as two or more races was not statistically significant; 4 percent of those reporting two or more races scored 3 or higher.

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