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November , 2017
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Illinois AP participation continues to outpace national average and the percentage of Hispanic test takers in 2014 exceeds percentage of Hispanic students overall as record number of Illinois students take exams and excel


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Hispanic and African American student participation in the Advanced Placement tests exceeds the national average, helping a new and more diverse generation of students move into more advanced classes in their post-secondary institution or gain college credit – or both, according to the 2014 College Board Program Results.

Statewide, 19.9 percent of Hispanic 11th and 12th graders took an AP exam in 2014, surpassing the total statewide population of Hispanic students (19.7) and continuing a decade-long trend of increasing participation and performance among Hispanic students in accelerated college-prep courses.  Across Illinois, 15.3 percent of Hispanic examinees scored successfully for possible college credit.

African American 11th and 12th graders comprise 10 percent of those who took AP exams last year and 16.6 percent of the eligible student population. While still underrepresented, the percent of Illinois African American AP exam takers exceeds the 8.6 percent of African American AP examinees nationwide.

Statewide, 23.5 percent of Illinois’s public high school 11th and 12th-graders took at least one AP Exam in 2014, up from 10.5 percent a decade ago in 2004. More than half of those students, or 15.5 percent of the 11th and 12th grade test takers scored a 3 or higher on the AP Exam, up from 7.7 percent in 2004.  The College Board and the American Council on Education (ACE) recommend that colleges and universities award credit for AP scores of 3 and higher on any AP exam.

“Illinois has been a leader in closing the participation and success gap for Hispanic test takers on the prestigious AP exams, which is a huge step forward in achieving excellence and improving college enrollment for this growing population,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico “We must continue to improve access for all students. We anticipate that some of the intense work with low-performing schools will mean more students will get the opportunity to take these challenging courses and exams which can lead to college credit and reduced higher education costs.”

Advanced Placement exams measure a student’s content mastery of college-level studies in specific academic disciplines. The College Board’s just-released national report offers data from the 2014 Advanced Placement Exam administration. In February each year, the College Board releases it’s “AP Report to the Nation,” which uses data from the most recent graduating class cohort. Sharing data from the most recent school year, as provided in this October 2014 report, allows states, districts, school and the public the opportunity to analyze results and access to the program in a timelier manner.

As its student population grows more diverse and economically challenged, Illinois continues to see record numbers of graduates taking these rigorous courses and exams.

Illinois ranked 13th in the nation for the percentage of 2013 graduates – 21.5 percent – who scored at least a 3 on an AP exam during their high school career. The national average is 20.1 percent. The College Board will release its annual Report to the Nation again in February 2015.

Other highlights of Tuesday’s National AP Report include:

·         4,356 graduating students in Illinois schools took the SAT. These college-bound seniors account for 3 percent of the total 2014 graduating class.

·         Of the 4,356 graduating seniors who took the SAT, 84 percent achieved the SAT Benchmark and have a high likelihood of succeeding in college and the workplace.

For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779 or Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net.

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