California AP Scores 2011-2017

Advanced Placement tests are college-level tests administered by the College Board that allow high school students to earn college credits early. More than 30 courses are offered on topics such as science, language and history but vary from school to school. Students do not need to be enrolled in semester-long AP classes to take the tests.

The tests are not required, but most four-year colleges and universities in the United States offer credits to students for each AP exam passed based on a 1 through 5 scale. The tests have two sections: multiple choice and free response. The highest score a student can receive is a 5 — considered to be "extremely well-qualified" — and the lowest score is a 1, which means no recommendation is given to a college based on the score.

Generally, a score of 3 or higher is considered passing.

Related data: Search six years of California SAT scores.

Related story: San Diego County AP test scores higher than state average

Source: California Department of Education


San Diego County AP test scores higher than state average

by Megan Wood | Aug. 14, 2018

Nearly 63 percent of all Advanced Placement tests taken by San Diego County high school students in 2017 were passed, allowing them to earn college credits early. That’s almost 7 percentage points higher than the state average.

The pass rate was almost identical to the previous year, when 62.6 percent of the AP tests taken in the county were passed.

For 2017, the Poway, San Dieguito and Carlsbad school districts had the highest AP pass rates in the county, while the Warner, Julian and Mountain Empire school districts had the lowest.

Read the full story here.

Search how your high school ranks on California AP tests

by Megan Wood | July 21, 2017

The state Department of Education updated Advanced Placement test data for schools across the state last month — five weeks after acknowledging it had posted incorrect scores for the 2015-16 school year. Once the file was updated, pass rates for all but two districts in San Diego County dropped by 1 to 4 percent. The Julian Union High and Lakeside Union school districts decreased by more than 8 percent. In total, 64,534 AP tests were taken in San Diego County last year. Of those, 40,391 earned a passing score of 3 or higher, or a pass rate of 63 percent. The pass rate for California is 56 percent.

Read the full story here.

State launches new system to alert the public to test score updates

by Megan Wood | June 21, 2017

The state’s education department has announced a new system to notify the public about data releases and updates to existing test score data on its website. The notice came on June 14, one day after inewsource reported on discrepancies it found in 2016 Advanced Placement (AP) test scores published by the California Department of Education. The accuracy of the standardized test scores published by the state is important to school officials who compare school performance and parents who use it to help decide where to send their children to school.

Read the full story here.

State admits posting faulty schools data, promises revisions

by Megan Wood | June 13, 2017

The agency responsible for overseeing and analyzing public education data in California removed “bad” Advanced Placement test results from its website last month, acknowledging it had published the wrong scores from 2016. inewsource found the discrepancies in the California Department of Education’s 2016 AP test scores, and while waiting for the department to respond, found inconsistencies in prior years, as well. State officials said two data analysts each had grabbed the wrong file for 2016 and posted it. That file contained 350,000 more tests than had actually been taken, throwing off pass rates.

Read the full story here.

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