A record number of 2010 high school graduates passed Advanced Placement exams, but an even greater percentage received the lowest possible score, according to a study released by the College Board.
2010 high school graduates received a “1″ (the lowest possible score) on 23% of completed AP exams. According to the College Board, ten years ago, seniors received a score of “1″ on 14% of completed exams. Advanced Placement exams are scored on a 1-5 scale. Many colleges and universities offer credit to students who earn a score of “3″ or higher.
Declining scores were most evident in math and sciences. Students in the Class of 2010 received the lowest possible score on 37% of AP Biology exams taken and on 34% of Calculus AB exams.
Some education experts attribute the large number of low scores to a widespread effort to encourage more students to enroll in AP courses, noting that the AP curriculum in some schools has become less rigorous to accommodate lower-performing students.
According to the College Board, more than 850,000 Class of 2010 graduates took at least one AP exam, nearly double the number from ten years prior. However, 2010 graduates failed about 56% of all the exams taken, compared with a 39% failure rate in 2001.
The College Board’s AP Report, which include includes performance details by state, is available at: http://apreport.collegeboard.org/