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Ga. ranks 11th on AP exams

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

LAWRENCEVILLE — Georgia ranks 11th in the nation in the percentage of seniors who pass Advanced Placement exams, according to the College Board’s AP Report to the Nation.

The report, released Wednesday, measures progress of the class of 2010. Twenty area schools were named AP Honor Schools based on the results of the exams.

Advanced Placement classes and exams, administered by the College Board, are considered to be college-level classes. Students who receive a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit.

“Our students must have rigorous course work in high school to be successful after they graduate,” State School Superintendent John Barge said. “I am so pleased that more of our students than ever are taking AP courses and passing the exam.”

Among Georgia’s public high school seniors in 2010, 19.1 percent scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam during high school. That is higher than the national average of 16.9 percent.

Georgia is tied for sixth in the nation when comparing the five-year increase of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam (4.7 percent growth compared to 3 percent for the nation). Georgia also had the 10th highest one-year increase of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam (1.3 percent growth compared to 1 percent for the nation).

When it comes to public school students enrolling in AP courses and taking the exams, Georgia is also a national leader. Only four other states in the country had a greater percentage of AP exam-takers last year, according to a press release. The percentage of Georgia seniors who took an AP exam was 37.3 percent, compared to 28.3 percent for the nation.

“Georgia continues to see positive trends in Advanced Placement — not only in the number of students taking the courses, but in the number of students having success,” Barge said. “Much of the progress we’re seeing in Georgia can be attributed to our AP Honor Schools.”