BOISE DISTRICT ADVANCED PLACEMENT EXAM NUMBERS, PARTICIPATION SURGE
Advanced Placement test-taking numbers increased dramatically in 2015, as larger numbers of students took the challenging exams, and the number of exams taken increased, as well.
AP STUDENT NUMBERS
The number of students taking at least one Advanced Placement exam reached an all-time high in 2015, increasing by 196 students from 2014 to a 2015 total of 1792. A significant portion of the increase came at Borah High School, where this year every student who took an Advanced Placement course was asked to also take the AP exam.. Increased financial support from the State of Idaho for Advanced Opportunities, as well as already established support from the Boise Schools Foundation, made it possible for students to take the exams at no cost.
Participation in the exam program was up this year at Boise High (+31 students) and at Timberline (+27), as well as at Borah (+160).
As you might imagine, the number of exams taken also increased dramatically in 2015, increasing over 2014 by 438 to reach a total of 3670.
Again, the largest increase was at Borah High School, where exams taken grew by 256 from the previous year. Boise's exam total increased by 85, Capital's by 33, and Timberline's by 60.
Another factor in the increased totals is the large number of AVID students now enrolled in 11th and 12th grade at all four comprehensive high schools and taking Advanced Placement coursework. There are currently 235 juniors and seniors enrolled in AVID in the Boise School District.
AP test participation patterns have changed in the past few years, as more sophomores have taken courses and participated in the exam program. The number of sophomores taking an AP exam increased from 74 in 2010 to 324 in 2014. Almost 80% of the exams given to sophomores in 2014 were for 3 courses: AP Human Geography, AP Physics B, and AP World History. Human Geography has been primarily a course for sophomores since it was introduced in the District. World History has become popular with sophs more recently.
Nationally in 2014, about 15% of AP exams were taken by 9th and 10th graders. The vast majority of those exams were in Human Geography (primarily by 9th graders), and World History (primarily by 10th graders). In Boise in 2014, 20% of exams were taken by 9th and 10th graders.
It's important to note that Advanced Placement exams are scored on a 1-5 scale, with scores of 3, 4, and 5 eligible for college credit or waiver of coursework. Whether or not students receive credits or course waivers for AP test scores is determined by the individual colleges and universities. The College Board, which offers AP course outlines and audits districts' fidelity to the AP curricula, provides a comprehensive list of college credit policies for AP exams.
Even if so student does not score a 3 or above on an AP test, the experience of taking a college-level test that is offered nationwide will help a student to succeed in college.
NOTE: This post was edited to delete a chart portraying percentage of juniors and seniors taking an AP exam - the chart was inaccurate. We have asked the College Board for cohort numbers of exam takers - that is, the number of graduates in each class who took an exam any time in their high school careers. We'll report those numbers as percentages of graduating classes in a future post.