Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Student participation in the Boise District's Advanced Placement program continues to grow, both in terms of tests taken and number of students taking tests.

The District offers the most complete Advanced Placement program in the state of Idaho; each comprehensive high school offers at least 24 A.P. courses, allowing students to choose coursework in a variety of subjects. Here's a complete list of AP coursework offered in the District.


Student participation in the AP exam program has increased dramatically since the inception of the program in 1980, when the program, then just at Boise High, had 50 testing participants. Here's the data n student participation since 1995.

The growth in student participation in the AP exam program is truly remarkable. 

Here is the same information broken down by high school. The information for the year 2000 is interesting because Timberline opened in 1998, so Boise's participation was lower in 2000 than in 1995. Participation rates for all four comprehensive high schools have grown substantially since then. It's also important to note that enrollment at the 4 high schools at the time of testing was Boise 1524, Borah 1474, Capital 1243, and Timberline 1107.

And there is something new this year: 24 9th graders at Hillside Junior High School took the course and the exam for AP Human Geography. It's our first effort at offering an AP course for our junior high students.


Many students take more than one Advanced Placement examination; in fact, a number of students took five exams this year, and a few took six or even seven. So the exam number is much higher than the number of students taking exams.

And the number of exams has grown dramatically. In 2016, Boise District students took 8 times as many AP exams as they did 20 years ago.

Here's the exam information. This is a story of continuous improvement, and of providing access for more and more students to rigorous coursework as time has gone by. 

So, how does this information impact the college entry level of students? Since over 95% of colleges nationwide provide credit pr waivers for passage of AP tests, the impact is considerable. Here are a couple of hypothetical examples of the total credits that students would have earned in 2016, using the AP credit policies of the University of Idaho.  Of course, not all students would have been able to obtain credit for particular courses - depending on major fields, some credits would not count in fulfilling prerequisites or the core requirements. But this is an indicator of the impact passing AP tests can have for our students. (Note: Boise State and Idaho State have similar policies - this is just an example.)

So, students could have the opportunity to obtain over 9000 college credits based on AP test performance. And, since AP credits are accepted by almost all universities and colleges, students don't have to worry about acceptance policies at particular schools - they can check it out on-line at the AP Central Credit Policy website.