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News Release - Colorado is in Top 10 for AP Exams

Feb. 20, 2013

News Release

Colorado ranks in top 10 nationwide for scores on Advanced Placement Exams

The ninth annual AP Report to the Nation, released today by the College Board, reports that Colorado ranks ninth in the nation for the percentage of the class of 2012 students scoring a three or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

AP exam scores are reported on a five-point scale. Students receiving a three or higher earn a qualifying score to apply course work for college credit. Colorado has ranked in the top 10 nationally for the past six years.

The report illustrates the nation’s progress in AP course participation and AP exam results as well as persisting inequities. This year, the report found more graduates nationwide have succeeded on AP exams today than the number of students that took AP exams in 2002. It also concluded that while states have made great strides in closing equity gaps for underserved minority and low-income students, these students remain underrepresented in AP classrooms and in the population of students scoring a three or higher on AP exams.

Colorado highlights:

  • The number of Colorado graduates who took an AP exam in high school increased from 17,303 in 2011 to 18,358 in 2012.
  • 59.8 percent of Colorado 2012 graduates that took AP exams received a score of three or higher which qualifies them to apply the course work for college credit. The number of graduates that scored a three or higher also increased from 10,692 in 2011 to 11,442 graduates in 2012.
  • Colorado ranked sixth in the nation for improving the percentage of graduates scoring a three or higher on an AP exam in the last decade by 10.5 percent.
  • Colorado made progress in closing the participation and achievement equity gaps compared to 2011. Hispanic/Latino students made up 22.5 percent of the class of 2012 and 11.6 percent of those students scored a three or higher on an AP exam.

Five Colorado school districts were also recognized by the 3rd Annual AP Honor Roll. To receive the distinction, the district must demonstrate three years of improved AP qualifying scores by increasing both exam participation and performance especially among under-represented student populations. The 2012 districts are: Boulder Valley School District, Lewis-Palmer School District #38, Estes Park School District, Poudre School District and Weld RE-4 School District. This is the second year Boulder Valley and Lewis-Palmer school districts have received the award.

The ninth annual AP Report to the Nation report is available at

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