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Minnesota Advanced Placement Scores and Participation Increase




Sandy Connolly, Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 651-259-3902
Randy Wanke, Minnesota Department of Education 651-582-1145

Minnesota SAT Scores Higher than National Scores

The Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education released new data today showing a more than six percent increase in the number of Minnesota students taking Advanced Placement tests.

The data also shows a nearly eight percent increase in the number of students scoring a "3" or higher on their exams, which is the cut score used by most colleges to award college credit to new entering students.

"The increase in Advanced Placement scores once again show that as we raise academic expectations, Minnesota students will rise to meet those expectations," Education Commissioner Alice Seagren said.

Minnesota Public School Students Taking AP Tests
Advanced PlacementNumber of Test TakersNumber of Exams TakenNumber of Grades 3-5
Change from last year+6.5%+5.9%+8.1%

The AP program allows high school students to take college-level courses in a high school setting.

"Advanced Placement courses are one of several great ways for high school students to challenge themselves and prepare for college-level work," Minnesota Office of Higher Education Director Susan Heegaard said. "We are especially encouraged by the increased participation by students of color this year."

The increase in the number of students taking AP and International Baccalaureate tests coincides with the implementation of the Get Ready Get Credit program proposed by Governor Pawlenty and passed by the legislature during the 2005 legislative session.

The program allows students to take college readiness and interest assessments in 8th and 10th grade. The Get Credit portion of the program encourages students to earn college credit while in high school through AP or IB programs.

More information on Advanced Placement in Minnesota can be found at

SAT scores improve
Minnesota students also continued to perform well on the SAT, which is a college entrance exam administered by the College Board and taken by fewer than 10 percent of Minnesota high school graduates. The ACT is the predominate college entrance exam taken in Minnesota, with the SAT typically taken by students interested in attending college on the east and west coasts.

Minnesota public school students posted SAT mean scores of 596 in critical reading, 609 in mathematics and 579 in writing. These mean scores for the state are compared to a national critical reading mean score of 500, a national math mean score of 515, and a national writing mean score of 494.

Advanced Placement, the PSAT and the SAT are all products of the College Board.


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