BALTIMORE – Maryland student success on the Advanced Placement (AP) test set another new record in 2018, while participation on the rigorous tests remains high.
The percentage of Maryland seniors who earned a score of 3 or higher on one or more AP exams reached 31.6 percent in 2018, up from 31.2 in 2017 and 30.3 in 2016. That placed fourth, just after Massachusetts (32.9), Connecticut (32.2) and Florida (31.7).
A score of 3 or better is the threshold at which many higher education institutions award college credit to high school students on an AP assessment.
The percentage of Maryland graduates taking an AP test while in high school remains at nearly 50 percent (49.1 percent), and a record 27,387 graduating seniors in the State took the exam in 2018. Maryland’s participation rate remained third in the nation, behind only the District of Columbia (57.2 percent) and Florida (55.9 percent). In Massachusetts, 47.3 percent of graduates completed an AP test, while in Connecticut 45.1 percent completed the test.
“Our administration is committed to ensuring that Maryland’s students have access to the high quality instruction needed to compete in today’s 21st century workforce,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Congratulations to our students, educators, and administrators for continuing to lead the nation in Advanced Placement assessment achievement.”
Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, said the AP program offers one important path to a brighter future for students.
“Maryland schools continue their focus on preparing graduates for careers or additional education, and the Advanced Placement courses provide students with important challenges,” Dr. Salmon said. “We continue to look for opportunities to improve access to AP. We believe our students will continue to rise above the bars that we set.”
Maryland in 2017 launched the Lead Higher Initiative, designed to close equity gaps for lower income students and students of color in AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. While the program did not have a significant impact on last year’s senior class, its effect should become apparent over time. Maryland in 2017 joined Illinois as the first two states to sign on to the Lead Higher Initiative.
These new AP statistics are included in cohort data released today by the College Board for the class of 2018. Both participation and success improved throughout the nation, according to the report, with 38.9 percent of public high school graduates now taking at least one AP course and 23.5 percent receiving a 3 or better.
The College Board’s new analysis of the college-level assessment program provides a variety of information on efforts taking place in Maryland schools. For example:
- The percentage of Maryland graduating seniors scoring a 3 or better on an AP test has increased from 23.2 percent in 2008 to 31.6 in 2018—a leap of 8.6 percentage points.
- Nearly half of all Maryland high school graduates take at least one AP exam while in high school, and that percentage has increased steadily over the past decade. In 2008, 36.9 percent of Maryland graduates had taken at least one AP exam during their high school career.
- The number of Maryland high school graduates who scored a 3 or better on an AP exam increased from 13,707 in 2008 to 17,960 in 2018.
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program, which began in 1955, allows students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Students of different interests and backgrounds can choose from more than 30 courses to demonstrate their knowledge of rigorous academic curriculum. More information about the AP program is available at https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/home.