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TEA News Releases Online Feb. 22, 2017
Number of Texas students taking Advanced Placement increases for Class of 2016

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that, according to the College Board’s AP Cohort Data Report for the Class of 2016, more than 122,000 Texas graduates took at least one Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) exam during their high school careers. In addition, the percentage of Texas students taking at least one AP exam in high school continues to stay ahead of the national average.

Number/Percentage of Graduates 
Who Took an AP Exam During High School 








According to Class of 2016 figures from the College Board, Texas was again the closest state to achieving equitable participation for low-income students. Half (50.3 percent) of the AP examinees in the Class of 2016 were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Of those students, 45.1 percent achieved a score of 3 or higher – much higher than the national average (24.9 percent) and higher than any other state. 

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 (20.2 percent) in the Class of 2016 scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school, which was below the national average (21.9 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. 

The ten most popular AP exams among Texas students for the Class of 2016 were: English Language and Composition; United States History; World History; English Literature and Composition; United States Government and Politics; Physics 1; Macroeconomics; Calculus AB; Spanish Language and Culture; and Biology.

Some additional Texas highlights from the College Board’s AP Cohort Data Report for the Class of 2016 include:

  • 38.7 percent of graduates in the Class of 2016 took an AP exam during high school.
  • 20.2 percent of students in the Class of 2016 scored 3 or higher on an AP exam.
  • By May 2016, more than a quarter million (259,081) exams earned scores of 3 or higher, representing a potential cost savings for credit-hour tuition of $239 million for Texas families.
  • Three of the ten most popular AP courses in Texas are in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

Twenty-two Texas school districts were recognized for efforts to increase access to AP coursework while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Those districts recognized on the 7th Annual AP Honor Roll included: Allen ISD; Austin ISD; Burnet CISD; College Station ISD; Coppell ISD; Dallas ISD; Hutto ISD; Katy ISD; Leander ISD; McGregor ISD; McKinney ISD; Pflugerville ISD; Pleasant Grove ISD; Princeton ISD; Sabine Pass ISD; Sanger ISD; Santa Fe ISD; Santa Gertrudis ISD; Santa Rosa ISD; Springtown ISD; Texarkana ISD; and Tomball ISD.

To review the entire College Board AP Cohort Data Report for the Class of 2016, visit  

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