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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Contact:Heidi P. Guarino 781-338-3106

Nearly One In Five In Class of 2006 Score 3 Or Higher On AP Exams

MALDEN - Nearly 20 percent of students in the Class of 2006 scored a 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement exam during high school, outperforming the national average of nearly 15 percent, according to new AP data released Tuesday by the College Board.

In all, 19.8 percent of public school students in the class of 2006 scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam, ranking Massachusetts sixth nationwide behind New York, Maryland, Utah, Virginia and California. The national average is 14.8 percent.

Statewide nearly 25,000 students from the Class of 2006 (27.7 percent of the class) took at least one AP exam, a 48.5 percent increase from the Class of 2001 and a 65 percent increase from the Class of 1996. Results, when compared to 2005, showed a 7.6 percent increase in test-takers and a 10.7 percent increase in the number of tests that received a score of 3 or higher.

"The more students push themselves in high school, the better they will do in college and later in life," said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "I am pleased to see a continued increase in the number of students taking the AP exams and scoring a 3 or above, because this means our students are prepared for their futures."

In all, students in the Class of 2006 in Massachusetts took 41,345 exams. Of those exams 19 percent were Social Science exams, including Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The majority of test-takers were White (75.4 percent), but participation rates show a significant increase in the number of minority students who took at least one AP exam: 2,350 Asians, up from 1,712 in 2001; 772 Black students, up from 502 in 2001; 1,167 Hispanic students, up from 576 in 2001.

The number of students who scored 3 or higher also rose significantly among minority students: 1,781 Asians, up from 1,246 in 2001; 319 Black students, up from 192 in 2001; and 663 Hispanic students, up from 422 in 2001.

"All students who participated on the AP exams last year deserve credit for the work they did, but I am concerned about the low number of minority participants," Driscoll said. "We need to encourage all students to strive for academic excellence in high school."

The 2006 AP scores include test results from any AP exam a student in the Class of 2006 took during their four years in high school. AP exams are scored on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the highest possible score. A score of 3 or above is considered to be college-level performance.

Summary of Massachusetts AP Results

# Test-takers% of Total# Exams Taken# Grades 3-5
Change from last year+7.6% +8.1%+10.7%
Change from last year+7.3% +7.7%+10.1%
Change from last year+8% +8.6%+11.4%
American Indian42.2%6648
Change from last year+7.7% +32%+92%
Change from last year+7.5% +7%+9.3%
Change from last year+19.1% +23.6%+50.7%
Change from last year+21.6% +21.9%+13.8%
Change from last year+6% +6.4%+9.5%
Change from last year+.7% -.3%+1.2&
No Response1,0774.4%1,9001,365
Change from last year+22.8% +27.3%+30.5%

Last Updated: February 7, 2007
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