State News

17th in the Nation: Georgia Students Hold Steady on AP Testing

The pandemic hasn’t slowed down Georgia students when it comes to testing well on Advanced Placement courses.

The College Board announced Wednesday that Georgia’s public school class of 2020 ranked 17th in the nation for testing scores and course passage rate, the same rank achieved in 2019.

The Georgia Department of Education called it an ‘encouraging indicator given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic” on the class of 2020. Georgia students recorded stronger AP performance than most Southern states, scoring higher than their peers in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

“I’m so proud of the class of 2020 for their continued accomplishments, and extremely pleased to see that Georgia’s students maintained their strong performance on AP exams even given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in their final year,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said Wednesday. “In a challenging time for schools and students, this is good news as we continue our work to expand advanced learning opportunities to all students.”

The percentage of students earning a 3 or higher on an AP exam was 23.2 percent for Georgia’s class of 2020, as it was for the class of 2019.

The percentage of low-income AP test-takers who scored 3 or higher increased in Georgia for the second year in a row, rising from 43.7 percent for the class of 2019 to 49.4 percent for the class of 2020. This figure is based on the performance of students who used an AP exam fee reduction, which states look to as a marker of equitable participation for low-income students.

Overall, 38.5 percent of Georgia’s class of 2020 took an AP exam while in high school. This is a slight decrease compared to the class of 2019 – of those students, 40.5 percent took at least one AP exam. The national participation rate dropped slightly as well, from 39.9 to 38.3 percent.

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