MHS students fare well on AP exams

Printer-friendly version

Participation in Advanced Placement exams at MHS continues to climb.

There were 579 juniors and seniors who took 1,074 AP exams in 2018 at MHS. In 2012, 471 students who took 766 exams.

Wisconsin's public school graduates took more than 71,000 AP eams in 2018. Nearly 23,000 state public school graduates -- or 37.5 percent of the estimated 61,266 graduates in all -- took at least one AP exam in May 2018.

Particpation in Advanced Placement increased by 1,055 graduates in Wisconsin from 2017 to 2018. The number of exams taken increased by 4,578.

"The Advanced Placement program provides students an opportunity to take college-level coursework in high school, new State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said in a statement. "Doing well on exams gives our kids a head start on post-secondary studies in our state's public and privage colleges and universities.''

More than 84 percent of MHS students who took AP exams scored a 3, 4 or 5 on the tests. The percentage of state students scoring at least a 3 was 26.1 percent, while the national average was 23.1 percent.

Of the 1,074 AP exams taken at MHS, 888, had a score of 3 or higher.

MHS offers 25 AP courses. The most popular AP exams among all students were in Psychology (267), English Language and Composition (222) and Calculus AB or BC (191).

Advanced Placement is a high school academic program with exams offered in 38 subject areas that culminate in college-level assessments. Exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. According to the College Board, earning a score of three or higher on an AP exam is a good predictor of a student’s ability to succeed in college academic studies and graduate.

A score of 3-5 also typically qualifies students for credit or advanced standing at most colleges and universities. Wisconsin's 2018 graduates who earned scores of 3 or higher on their AP exams are estimated to save nearly $43 million in college costs. The calculation assumes three credits for each AP course scored three or higher and an average cost of in-state tution and fees of $302.67 per credit hour.

Students from low-income families represent 13.4 percent of 2018 state graduates who took AP exams while in high school. Among those graduates, 10.4 percent earned a score of three or higher on an exam. Wisconsin public school districts are required to pay exam fees for students whose familiy income meets guidelines for free-or-reduced priced school meals.

Ten years ago in Wisconsin, 6.1 percent of low-income graduates took an AP exam and 4.2 percetn earned a score of three or higher on an exam. Five years ago, 11.5 percent of economically disadvantaged graduates took AP exams with 9.0 percent earning a score of 3 or higher on an exam.

"Students of color, students with disabilities, students from low-income families, and those who are learning English often face challenges in accessing advanced coursework and opportunities like the AP program,'' Stanford Taylor said. "We are determined to continue our work with schools and communities to close equity gaps so all students have access to the resources and rigor they need to be successful.''