More Utah Students Take AP Exams, Passing Rate Still Surpasses Nation

A total of 25,142 Utah public school students – 6 percent overall increase from 2015 – took a total of 38,685 advanced placement exams in 2016. 

66 percent of Utah public schools students earned scores of 3, 4, or 5, good enough to earn college credit, on those exams, according to College Board data. Nationally, just 55.9 percent of public school students scored a 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams in 2016, College Board noted.

Because of recent changes in demographic reporting by the College Board, it is difficult to gauge the change in Utah’s ethnic and racial participation in AP exams. There was, however, a 10 percent increase in students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch participating in AP exams over 2015 totals. Students who are economically disadvantaged now account for nearly 8 percent of AP test takers in Utah public schools, College Board data shows.

The Alpine, Canyons, Davis, Duchesne, and Ogden school districts were all recognized by College Board for simultaneously increasing access to AP courses to more students while increasing passing rates. This marks the fifth year in a row Davis has been so recognized. It is the fourth time for Alpine. Canyons and Duchesne were both on the list last year as well as this year.

“I want to thank our teachers and applaud our students and the parents who helped them increase participation and succeed in earning college credit through the AP program,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson. “Add in that 28,551 Utah students also participated in concurrent enrollment where they collectively have earned close to 200,000 hours of college credit which is a real testament to the work and success going on in our schools.”

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