Press Release masthead

TEA News Releases Online March 1, 2016

Number of Texas students taking Advanced Placement more than doubles in the past decade

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that the number of Texas graduates taking at least one Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) exam during high school has more than doubled over the past decade, according to College Board’s AP Cohort Data Report for the Class of 2015. In addition, the percentage of Texas students taking at least one AP exam in high school continues to outpace the national average.

Number/Percentage of Graduates 

  Who Took an AP Exam During High School

                          

YEAR

TEXAS

NATION

2015

116,404

40.5%

37.3%

2014

107,451

39.1%

35.7%

2010

82,418

30.2%

27.8%

2005

57,273

23.9%

21.2%


According to Class of 2015 figures from the College Board, Texas also continued its successful pace in achieving equitable participation for low-income students. Half (50.5 percent) of the AP examinees in the Class of 2015 were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Of those students, 44.6 percent achieved a score of 3 or higher – much higher than the national average (24.2 percent) and higher than any other state.

“It’s not only important that we continue to see more students taking AP exams in the years ahead, we should also maintain an expectation for high levels of success,” said Commissioner Morath.

The College Board states that a score of 3 or higher on an AP Exam demonstrates that a student is capable of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject in college. Just over 20 percent of Texas students (20.8 percent) in the Class of 2015 scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school, which was below the national average (22.4 percent).
 
Research shows that students who succeed in rigorous course work, such as that offered by AP, are developing college-level knowledge and skills while still in high school. These students are more likely than their peers to earn college degrees on time, which gives them an opportunity to save significant amounts of money.