Almost one third of Maine’s Class of 2009 took at least one Advanced Placement exam during high school. Their results were almost 5 percentage points higher than the national average. In addition 18.2 percent of all graduating Maine public school students who took an AP exam scored 3 or above, compared to 15.9 percent of students nationally. A score of 3 or above translates to a C to B- if the course had been taken in college, and predict college success, according to the College Board. Students can score between 1 and 5 points on the exams, which are offered in more than 30 subjects.
Increasing evidence shows that taking rigorous courses such as AP courses in high school, leads to greater success in college. Students who score 3 or above on their AP exams are also often eligible for college credit, saving them thousands of dollars and allowing them to advance more quickly to advanced courses once enrolled in college.
The College Board released its 6th annual AP Report to the Nation on Wednesday, and cited Maine for helping pilot an initiative to increase participation. Over five years, Maine showed a 5.4 percent increase in the percentage of students scoring 3 or above on an AP exam. Maine tied with two other states for second place by that measure.
In Maine, the most popular AP exam is English literature, followed by U.S. history, English language and calculus. Other subjects include: biology, statistics, psychology, and chemistry.
For more information about the AP Report to the Nation, including Maine state reports, see http://www.collegeboard.com/html/aprtn/state_reports.html .