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Mississippi sees a record high in students taking AP exams



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The 2022-23 academic year witnessed a notable surge in Mississippi students participating in Advanced Placement (AP) exams. A record 12,044 students took a total of 16,983 AP exams. Out of these, 5,860 exams earned a qualifying score.

When compared to the previous academic year, 2021-22:

  • There was a 14.3% rise in students undertaking the exams.
  • A 14.8% increase in the total number of tests taken.
  • Qualifying scores saw a 5.1% increase.

Hispanic and African-American students showcased significant advancements:

  • 11.5% more Hispanic students earned a qualifying score.
  • African-American students with a qualifying score rose by 15.6%.

Looking back over a decade, the number of students participating and passing AP exams has more than doubled since 2013, with the pass rate increasing from 32.9% to 34.5%.

Advanced Placement courses, akin to college-level curriculums, are taught by high school teachers. Studies have consistently shown that AP students tend to be better geared for college and graduate within four years compared to their non-AP counterparts.

In a press release issued by the Mississippi Department of Education, Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education, expressed pride in the increasing number of students achieving qualifying scores. He emphasized that students’ exposure to these exams sets them up for better college prospects.

Mississippi stands among 30 states with a consistent AP credit policy, ensuring students scoring three or above on an AP exam can avail at least three college credits in any public Mississippi university or community college. This approach aids in minimizing university attendance costs.

It’s a mandate from the Mississippi State Board of Education that all high schools offer AP classes across core subjects like English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. School participation in such accelerated programs directly influences school and district accountability grades. Moreover, funding provisions exist to cover AP exam fees for students from low-income families.

To enhance statewide AP course involvement, the Mississippi Department of Education kick-started an AP Initiative in 2015-16. This initiative encompasses promoting AP advantages, broadening access to AP courses, and organizing AP-centric professional development sessions for educators and counselors.

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