Number of Public School Students Taking AP Exams Continues to Increase Along With Scores of “3” or higher

by Dave on September 13, 2010

According to statistics released today by the College Board, the number of Delaware public school students participating in Advanced Placement (AP) continued to climb compared to last year’s results including the number of examinations taken by students and the number of scores at “3” or higher.

Compared to 2009, the number of public school students participating in AP examinations increased by 7.7% to 3,630 test-takers. In 2010, the total number of AP exams taken increased by 6%. AP participation rates increased for both male and female students as well as the Asian, Black, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and White ethnic sub-groups.

Of the 6,436 AP examinations given to Delaware public school students, 3,299 students received a score of 3 or higher, an increase of 1.5% from 2009. The percentage of students scoring “3” or higher increased for the Asian, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and Other Hispanic ethnic groups.

“Our students need to graduate ready to succeed in their next efforts. It’s encouraging that more Delaware students are stepping up to the challenge of the Advanced Placement test to measure their mastery of important subjects against college standards,” Governor Markell said. “We plan to keep them focused on being ready for college when they graduate high school, should they choose that course for their lives. Eventually, students will be competing in a global marketplace for jobs, which means they need to be as prepared as we can possibly make them.”

A score of “3” or higher is usually a requirement to receive academic credit at colleges and universities. This not only saves families precious dollars but also demonstrates the academic skills that are needed to be successful in postsecondary institutions. Delaware has also extended our college readiness program to middle school students on what they need to do to become college-ready prior to entering high school. This can only serve as an additional resource to help our students become better prepared for postsecondary academia.

A breakdown of Delaware public school students taking AP examinations is as follows:


# of Students

No. of Exams

Scores of


Male 1555 2817 1524
Female 2075 3619 1775
American Indian 14 22 12
Asian 404 944 618
Black 432 654 187
Mexican American 55 97 35
Puerto Rican 46 72 35
Other Hispanic 81 150 67
White 2394 4131 2175
Other 118 208 111
No Response 86 158 59

Today’s College Board announcement also included the results of the average critical reading, math and writing scores of Delaware’s public and non-public college-bound seniors. The number of Delaware students who took the SAT Reasoning Test increased 1.2% for all schools (public and private) and 8.8% for public schools.
On the critical reading portion of the SAT Reasoning Test, Delaware’s students, both public and non-public, scored an average of 493, a two point decrease from last year. Nationally, students averaged a 501 on the critical reading portion of the SAT.

The College Board reported that the average mathematics score of Delaware’s college-bound seniors attending the state’s public and nonpublic schools was 495 which is a three point decrease from 2009. This year’s national average math score is 516, a one point increase from last year.

For the fifth year, results were released for the writing portion of the SAT. For Delaware’s public and non-public high school seniors, the mean score for writing was 481, a three point decrease from 2009. Nationally, the average writing score was 492, a one point decrease in scores from last year.

Delaware’s SAT Reasoning Test participation rate of public/private schools is 71%, well above the nation’s participation rate of 47%. As a result, Delaware’s participation rate is ranked ninth in the nation.

In Delaware’s public schools, 57% of SAT Reasoning Test takers were female compared to nearly 43% males. Male test takers outscored female students in reading and math but lagged behind in writing. Male students had an average of 480 on the critical reading portion of the exam while female students averaged 475. In math, male students, on average, scored 499
while female students scored 468. In writing, female students scored an average of 463 while male students averaged 457. This trend was exhibited last year as well.

A breakdown of Delaware public school scores by gender and ethnicity is as follows:



% of Total Read Change

From 2009

Math Change from 2009



From 2009

Total 4728 100% 478 0 481 -3 463 -1
Male 2020 42.7% 480 -1 499 -4 457 0
Female 2708 53.7% 475 0 468 0 468 -2
American Indian 22 0.54% 492 +12 491 +7 488 +41
Asian 252 5.3% 528 +1 574 -13 533 +7
Black 1287 27.2% 422 +1 416 -1 407 -1
Mexican American 65 1.4% 435 +13 446 +17 413 +8
Puerto Rican 84 1.8% 437 +14 434 -1 427 -2
Other Hispanic 98 2.1% 454 -21 452 -21 439 -18
White 2697 57% 503 -5 508 -8 487 -6
Other 123 2.6% 456 -6 455 -12 443 -3
No Response 100 2.1% 482 +47 466 +35 459 +34

In response to this year’s SAT results, Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery commented, “As part of our education reform plan, we are committed to providing a college readiness test such as the SAT to all 11th graders this year. This will eliminate a significant barrier to college acceptance for some of our students, particularly those that will be the first in their families to attend post-secondary education. This is critical as our children and young adults need to be able to compete in an increasingly global economy after they graduate from high school.”

Dr. Lowery noted that Delaware is one of the 46 states participating in the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The State Board of Education formally adopted the Standards in August. The College Board is one of five partners in this initiative. The outcome from this will be research and evidence-based standards that are aligned with college and work expectations, including rigorous content and skills and that are internationally benchmarked.

release from Delaware Department of Education

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