Advanced Placement Participation Grows


  • 40,877 Minnesota students class of 2014 took an AP exam; increasing 5.4 percent from last year
  • 44,460 exams had grades of 3 to 5, increasing 5.8 percent from last year
  • 18 percent of Minnesota public high school 11th and 12th graders took at least one AP exam; increasing of 9 percent from 2004

Minnesota has had solid growth in the number of students taking the Advanced Placement (AP) exam, and positive test results across every racial/ethnic group over time. Minnesota's class of 2014 high school students took advantage of 34 subject-specific AP courses. The number of students taking an AP exam more than doubled from ten years ago. AP is one of several college prep options available to Minnesota high school students.

According to The College Board:

Minnesota has made a great commitment to expanding access to challenging course work across the state. As a result, students have made gains in participation and success.

Minnesota Students of Color

Minnesota students of color (class of 2014) taking the AP exam increased 11 percent from the previous year. While Minnesota students of color had a lower percentage of grades 3 to 5 on AP exams than White Minnesota students; higher percentages of Minnesota exam takers across racial/ethnic groups scored 3 to 5 nationally, except for Asian Minnesota students who scored lower than national averages.

AP Exams in Mathematics and Science Grows

The number of biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, calculus, physics and statistics exams accounted for 33 percent of all subject-specific exams. The number of math and science exams (22,362) increased 5 percent from the previous year, and 51 percent from five years ago when 14,769 exams were taken.

Minnesota Students Taking Math and Science AP Exams, 2006 to 2014

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Source: The College Board

About Advanced Placement

The College Board administers the Advanced Placement (AP) exam. Most students study for the AP exam by taking year-long AP specific courses offered through their high school. AP exams can also be taken by any student who has taken strong courses or studied in-depth on their own. AP coursework is available online through a variety of private education companies. The exams are optional. More students may take AP courses in high school then sit for the exam.

An AP grade of at least 3, on a scale of 1 to 5, is an indicator of an ability to do successful work at most colleges. Some colleges will grant new entering freshmen college credit if they obtain certain grades on their AP exams. Policies on granting college credit vary by college.


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