Public School Students’ AP Participation Continues to Climb

Wisconsin public school students’ participation in the Advanced Placement (AP) program continues to increase, according to figures released recently by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).  Those figures show an additional 2,457 public school students took AP exams in the 2015-16 school year, a 6.5 percent jump compared to the prior school year.

In all, Wisconsin public school students took 68,316 AP exams in May 2016 and earned scores of three or higher on 65.5 percent of those exams. Students earning a score of three, four, or five on AP exams generally receive college credit, advanced standing, or both at many colleges and universities worldwide. 
Nationally, public school students took 2,268,277 AP exams, on which they earned scores of three or higher (55.9 percent of the exams). In total, about  2.3 million public school students took just over 4 million AP exams in the 38 tested subjects nationally, a 5.3 percent increase in student participation from the prior year.

While most student groups in Wisconsin had better AP performance than their peers nationally, disparities in achievement by race and ethnicity remain.

The DPI cautions that because the College Board changed its collection and reporting of race and ethnicity data categories to align with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines, valid inferences cannot be made when comparing the 2015-16 race and ethnicity data on AP participation and results with prior years.