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More Ohio Students Take and Pass Advanced Placement Tests

Release date: 9/26/2013

Minority Students Showing Growth Well Above National Rates

COLUMBUS, Ohio – More Ohio students are taking and passing Advanced Placement Exams than previous years and the growth in Ohio is exceeding that of the nation as a whole. In addition, African-American and Hispanic students are showing double digit growth in the number of exams taken and passed, exceeding national participation and performance rates for these student populations.

“These Advanced Placement results are really a tribute to educators and students who are working hard both teaching and taking the most challenging classes we can offer,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, Ohio superintendent of public instruction. “Ohio students have been given the opportunity to take rigorous courses and these numbers show that they are up to the challenge.”

The College Board’s report released Thursday showed that for 2012-2013:

  • The number of Ohio students earning a “3” or higher on an AP exam grew by 9.2 percent compared with 6.1 percent nationally.
  • The number of African-American students in Ohio earning a “3” or higher grew by 17.2 percent compared with 11.1 percent nationally.
  • The number of Hispanic Ohio students earning a “3” or higher grew by 19.9 percent compared with 13.3 percent nationally.   

Ohio is also seeing robust growth in many Advanced Placement courses, including English, physics and calculus. The number of students passing the AP statistics Exam grew by 20 percent last year.

Importantly, that growth is not coming at the expense of students passing the exam as 66 percent of Ohio public school students earned scores of “3” or better on their AP Exams last year, compared with 57 percent of public school students nationally.

The Advanced Placement Exams are administered each year in May and represent the culmination of college-level study in a given discipline in a secondary school setting. Last year, more than 3,000 U.S. colleges and universities received AP scores for credit, placement and/or consideration in the admission process, with the vast majority of those colleges and universities offering credit in one or more subjects based on successful Advanced Placement Exam scores. Today, most colleges and universities grant credit, advanced placement or both for an Advanced Placement Exam score of “3” or higher on the 5-point scale.

Beginning in 2009, students in Ohio who take an Advanced Placement examination and score at least a “3”are guaranteed college credit, usually toward their general education curriculum, upon entering an Ohio public institution of higher education.

“Ohio’s K-12 and higher education systems have worked well together to expand the Advanced Placement program,” said Rebecca Watts, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs for the Ohio Board of Regents. “It is important to note that Advanced Placement is just one of a variety of options available to students who want to challenge themselves and earn college credit during high school.”

The number of high school students enrolling in Post-Secondary Education Options and other dual enrollment programs increased by 33 percent between 2008 and 2012.

Research consistently shows that AP students that earn advanced placement into college course work perform as well as — or better than — college students who first completed the introductory course at a college or university. In fact, students who succeed on Advanced Placement Exams during high school typically experience greater overall academic success in college, and are more likely than their non-Advanced Placement peers to earn a college degree and graduate on time.

“We applaud Ohio’s Department of Education and the state’s dedicated teachers for giving so many students increased access to Advanced Placement course work,” said College Board Senior Vice President of AP and Instruction Trevor Packer. “Ohio's powerful AP results show that more students -- with greater diversity -- are developing the knowledge and skills that are essential for college success.”

As college costs grow, the prospect of continuing education becomes less of a reality for many high school students. Taking an Advanced Placement course and performing well on the related Advanced Placement Exam can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition and fees.

More information about Advanced Placement courses and exams can be found on the Department of Education website at education.ohio.gov. More information about dual enrollment opportunities, including Advanced Placement can be found on the Board of Regents website at ohiohighered.org.