Record Number of Montana Students Take Advance Placement Exams


Wednesday, February 8, 2012
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

Record Number of Montana Students Take Advance Placement Exams
Students Mastering AP Courses Also Continues to Increase

Helena, MT - Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau today announced a record number of Montana students took Advanced Placement exams in 2011 according to a new report by the College Board.  Montana's AP participation rate has increased by 22.3% from 2007 to 2011, and the number of AP students demonstrating college-level mastery with scores of 3, 4, and 5 on an AP exam increased by 20.3% from 2007 to 2011.

In 2011, 2,784 Montana students took Advanced Placement exams. This is up 4% from 2010. Additionally, 1,823 graduating seniors in the class of 2011 took at least one AP exam during high school compared to 1,216 in the class of 2001.

“The gains that Montana students have made in terms of AP participation and success is another sign of our state’s commitment to preparing students for college and careers,’’ said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.

Helena Public Schools and Missoula County Public Schools are being recognized by the College Board's AP Honor Roll for their efforts to increase participation and exam performance for the past three years. Only 367 districts in the world have increased participation while improving performance.

The College Board also analyzes the results of Montana students who have taken the PSAT and how their scores predict potential success in AP courses. From that population, the College Board found at least 2,010 additional Montana students could be successful in AP courses.

“While we can celebrate the successes of increasing participation in AP courses, we need to continue to encourage more students to take advantage of AP courses in their schools and through the Montana Digital Academy," stated Juneau. "Thousands of Montana students are ready to take rigorous AP courses, and we need to take the next step by expanding AP opportunities for all students who are ready for the challenge."

The Montana Digital Academy currently offers seven AP courses: AP US History, AP Government and Politics, AP Physics B, AP Calculus AB, AP Language and Composition, Literature and Composition, and AP Biology. Sixty students are enrolled in AP courses this semester through the Montana Digital Academy.

AP prepares students for college success and helps offset college costs.  Research shows that AP students are more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree in four years than their peers.  Participation and success in AP courses also helps students qualify for college scholarships.

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity.  The College Board’s AP program offers more than 33 courses and exams and provides students with the opportunity to take college-level courses and earn college credit or placement, while still in high school. 

To download the 8th Annual AP Report to the Nation go to: http://apreport.collegeboard.org/?affiliateId=cbhomehero&bannerId=APRTTN2012.

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