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Chapter 4: Academic Preparation and Achievement

Indicator 23: Advanced Placement Exams

In May 2010, a higher percentage of males than females (61 vs. 54 percent) who took an Advanced Placement (AP) exam received a score of 3 or higher in at least one subject area. This trend held across all racial/ethnic groups, with the largest difference occurring between American Indian/Alaska Native males and females (7 percentage point difference) and the smallest differences occurring both between Hispanic males and females and between Black males and females (3 percentage point difference each).

In May 2010, about 58 percent of students who took an AP exam received a score of 3 or higher in at least one subject area. A higher percentage of males than females received a score of 3 or higher on any AP exam (61 vs. 54 percent). This trend held across all racial/ethnic groups, with the largest difference occurring between American Indian/Alaska Native males and females (7 percentage point difference) and the smallest difference occurring both between Hispanic males and females and between Black males and females (3 percentage point difference each). In addition, there was a 6 percentage point difference between White males and females and a 5 percentage point difference between Asian/Pacific Islander males and females.

The percentage of students achieving a score of 3 or higher on any AP exam varied across racial/ethnic groups. Some 66 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander test-takers received a score of 3 or higher, compared with 63 percent of White test-takers, 44 percent of American Indian/Alaska Natives, 42 percent of Hispanics, and 27 percent of Black test-takers. The same racial/ethnic patterns were observed for male and female students who took AP exams. Among males, 69 percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders received a score of 3 or higher, compared with 67 percent of White students, 48 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students, 44 percent of Hispanic students, and 29 percent of Black students. Among females, 63 percent of Asian/ Pacific Islanders achieved a score of 3 or higher, compared with 60 percent of White students, 41 percent of American Indian/Alaska Natives, 41 percent of Hispanics, and 25 percent of Black students.

Technical Notes

The scores for all AP examinations range from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. AP examinations are available in over 30 different subject areas. Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, English literature and composition, and U.S. history are some of the most frequently taken AP exams. Data reported are for all students who completed an AP exam in any subject area in May 2010. AP exams are offered only in the month of May. This indicator presents information on Asians and Pacific Islanders as a combined category because the data were collected in a manner that does not permit separate reporting. Since 96 percent of all Asian/Pacific Islander 5- to 24-year-olds are Asian, this combined category substantially reflects the situation for Asians, rather than Pacific Islanders. For more information, please see the introduction to this report.


Figure 23-1 Percentage of test-taking students receiving a score of 3 or higher on any Advanced Placement (AP) exams, by race/ethnicity and sex: May 2010

Table E-23-1 Percentage of test-taking students receiving a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, by subject, sex, and race/ethnicity: May 2010


  
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