Nevada Improves in Advanced Placement Test Takers - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Nevada Improves in Advanced Placement Test Takers

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The percentage of Nevada high school students taking advanced placement exams has improved over the last decade but still falls below the national average.

A report released Tuesday by the College Board shows 16.9 percent of Nevada's class of 2013 scored a three or higher on an AP exam during high school. A score of three, four or five is typically accepted by colleges for credit and placement.

While that's below the national average of 20.1 percent, it's a big improvement in Nevada since 2003, when only 10.3 percent of students taking the exam posted those results. (AP)

From the Nevada Department of Education:

According to information released today in the College Board's 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, the number of Nevada students taking and succeeding in Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams continues to increase. A decade ago, approximately 2,600 Nevada public school graduates took at least one AP exam during their high school career, representing almost 16% of graduating seniors. Last year, that number increased to over 7,000 and represented 31.7% of Nevada's 2013 graduates. With the increase in participation, performance has also gone up. In 2003, only 1,688 students, representing less than 10% of Nevada's graduating class, received a score of three or higher on an AP exam. This number has more than doubled for the class of 2013, with 3,901 students, 16.9% of graduating seniors, receiving a three or higher on an AP exam while in high school. Despite these gains, minority and low-income students are still under-represented in these courses, and participation and performance gaps exist.

Research shows that students who succeed on an AP exam during high school typically experience greater overall academic success in college, and are more likely than their non-AP peers to graduate from college and to graduate on time, experiencing lower college costs than the majority of American college students.

"Advanced Placement courses help prepare Nevada students for a smooth transition to higher education," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga. "Today I applaud educators who have worked hard to bring the rigorous and relevant instruction of AP to more students in Nevada than ever before. But we can work harder to increase the number of students taking AP or other accelerated courses. We need to take a more proactive approach to identifying and recruiting students who might not otherwise enroll in AP and other advanced coursework. Parents are also critical partners in this process and can help their children understand the importance of gaining exposure to college-level content."

Among the class of 2013, over 2,500 Nevada students identified as having a high likelihood of success in AP did not take any recommended AP exam. Such "AP potential" is defined as a 60 percent or greater probability of scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam based on a student's performance on specific sections of the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The PSAT is offered free of charge to most Nevada sophomores, making AP potential data readily available for most Nevada high school students.

"All students who are academically ready for the rigor of an AP course should have access to rigorous coursework, regardless of their socioeconomic, geographic or racial/ethnic background," said Erquiaga. "I encourage continued efforts across the state to increase access to AP courses for all Nevada students."

To see the College Board's full Advanced Placement Report to the Nation, go to: http://apreport.collegeboard.org/.

From the Nevada Department of Education

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