A record 22 percent of students who took AP tests scored a grade five, the top level possible in AP tests. In addition, a record 72 percent of all students who took the tests in 2018 achieved a grade three, four or five – the scores required by the College Board needed for college credit.
Both of these results are the best that ACPS has seen in AP tests since the school division started to pay for students to take them in 2005. In 2005 only 9 percent of students scored a grade five and 39 percent of students scored a three or above. The jumps are also the greatest increase in a single year in AP student performance seen at TC Williams dating back to 2005.
In addition to higher scores, more students also took the AP tests this year. More than a third of all students (36 percent) in grades 10 through 12 took at least one AP test in 2018 – an all-time high for the school division, with 931 students taking 2,021 subject tests.
“This is a great result all round. Not only did more students take the AP tests this year but also they scored better than ever before. ACPS is supporting students to achieve their best and make the most of opportunities that they may simply not get elsewhere,” said Peter Balas, Principal of T.C. Williams High School.
Advanced Placement programs provide motivated high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. Students who participate in the program not only gain college-level skills, but in many cases they also earn college credit while they are still in high school.
All ACPS students who take an AP course are required to take the corresponding AP test. This means that students who select course have to carry through with them, complete them and be graded on them. In 2005, ACPS also instituted a policy to allow all students to take these AP tests for free.