Hanahan High AP students outperform state and national passing rates
The number of Advanced Placement (AP) exams taken by South Carolina public school students with scores high enough to receive college credit rose last year, according to results from the College Board that were released earlier this week by the State Department of Education.
Hanahan High School passing rate was 15 percent higher than the state passing rate and 14 percent higher than the national passing rate.
The state’s number of AP exams with scores between 3 and 5 (students generally receive college credit for scores above 3) increased from 10,035 in 2004 to 11,073 in 2005. The state also had more students taking the tests – a 12 percent increase – from 10,988 to 12,313. The number of exams attempted rose 13.5 percent – from 18,044 to 20,479.
This year’s 54 percent rate of exams scoring between 3 and 5 is slightly less than last year’s 56 percent. The gap between the South Carolina and national success rates, which had been as large as 27 percentage points (1985), is now only four percentage points. The national success rate dropped two percentage points from 60 percent to 58 percent this year.
Hanahan High School students performed well above the state and national average with 71 percent of the 42 AP student exam scores ranging between 3 and 5.
“AP courses are very rigorous and provide excellent opportunities for students to earn college credit while still in high school,” said State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum. “Our state’s passing rate on these exams shows that our students’ performance is similar to their peers nationally. We want to build on the strategies that have made us successful on AP tests to improve our college entrance exam scores.”
Since 1984, South Carolina has paid for AP instructional materials, paid students’ test fees and offered specialized training for teachers. Every student enrolled in an AP course is required to take the test.
“This is good news for South Carolina schools,” Tenenbaum said. “But AP results have never gotten as much attention as SAT scores. Both are exams administered by the College Board. We need to continue to support our teachers, students and parents who are working harder than ever before.”
The five most-taken AP exams in 2005 were United States History, English Literature and Composition, English Language and Composition, Calculus AB and Biology.