Maryland First in AP Success, College Board Says

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study table2For the fourth straight year in a row, Maryland education has recieved the No.1 national ranking on the rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) program by the College Board.


Maryland Seniors Rank High on AP Exams


The percentage of Maryland seniors who earned a score of 3 or higher on one or more AP exams reached 27.9 percent in 2011, the highest percentage in the nation for the fourth consecutive year and 1.5 percentage points better than 2010, according to the College Board’s “Annual AP Report to the Nation.” A score of 3 or better is the threshold at which many higher education institutions award college credit for high school students in an AP assessment.

Maryland placed second to Florida in the total percentage of seniors completing an AP exam (46.4 percent to Florida’s 47.4). That compares to 32.5 percent from the class of 2006—just five years earlier.

Four Maryland systems—Calvert, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery—had at least 30 percent of their graduating classes scoring a 3 or better on an AP exam. Overall, 27.9 percent of the state’s graduating seniors scored a 3 or better.

Examples of Maryland Efforts Cited

“Advanced Placement Report to the Nation: 2012,” the College Board’s eighth annual analysis of the college-level assessment program, gives many high marks to efforts taking place in Maryland schools. For example:

  • In 2001, Maryland had just 14.8 percent of its seniors scoring in the college mastery rank. That number has risen 13.1 points over the past decade, the largest rate of improvement in the nation.
  • Maryland leads the nation with the largest percentage of all graduates taking AP exams in the mathematics and science disciplines—18 percent and 17.8 percent of the graduating class, respectively.
  • Maryland has nearly eliminated the equity and excellence gap in AP achievement for the Hispanic and Latino population. Hispanics accounted for 8 percent of the Maryland graduating class last year, 7.8 percent of the seniors who scored 3 or higher on the AP exam were Hispanic.
  • Maryland also has seen a big increase in the percentage of Black/African American students having success on the AP assessments. A record 10.8 percent of students receiving a grade of 3 or better in Maryland were Black/African American. That is the third-highest percentage among states in the nation.
  • The number of low-income graduates who took at least one AP exam during high school has nearly tripled over the past five years—from 1,563 in the class of 2006 to 4,581 last year.

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. Complete results are available at