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Number of FCPS Students Taking AP and IB Exams Continues to Rise | News

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Number of FCPS Students Taking AP and IB Exams Continues to Rise
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Number of FCPS Students Taking AP and IB Exams Continues to Rise

From Fairfax County Public Schools:

The total number of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students taking Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams continued to rise in 2010, following recent trends, according to data just released by FCPS Superintendent Jack D. Dale.  However, while the total number of students tested and the number of exams administered rose, the percentage of AP exams with a score of 3 or above and IB exams with a score of 4 or higher dropped slightly overall.  Seventy percent of AP exams had a score of 3 or above, down from 71 percent in 2009, and seventy-three percent of IB exams had a score of 4 or above, down from 75 percent in 2009.

“While our AP and IB students’ scores decreased slightly, participation increased significantly overall as well as among all ethnic groups,” says Dale. “The increases in AP and IB participation are the result of an emphasis on expanding access to advanced academic coursework to all students.”

Many colleges offer college credit to students who score a 3, 4, or 5 on their AP exams.  Colleges and universities accept IB scores of 4 or higher as evidence of a student’s mastery of the subject matter and may award college credit to a student earning a 4 or above.

The data reveal that 15,439 students took a total of 32,230 AP exams, a 7.5 percent increase, up from 14,835 students taking 29,954 exams in 2009 (see tables 1 and 2).  Also, 2,618 students took a total of 6,472 IB exams, an 11.8 percent increase, up from 2,291 students taking 5,784 IB exams in 2009 (see tables 3 and 4). The IB diploma program is offered in 8 of the 25 FCPS high schools. Many FCPS students take multiple AP or IB exams.

Of all AP exams taken, the number of those with a score of 3 or higher decreased slightly for most ethnic groups (see table 5) while enrollment in at least one AP course increased for all groups with an overall increase of 4 percent. Greatest gains were made by underrepresented minority students, with Hispanic student AP enrollment increasing by 13 percent and Black student AP enrollment increasing by 10 percent (see table 2).

In 2010, the percentage of IB exams with a score of 4 or higher decreased slightly overall, as well as for most ethnic groups (see table 6); however, IB enrollment increased 14 percent overall. Enrollment in one or more IB courses increased 26.5 percent for Hispanic students, 18.6 percent for Asian students, 12.5 percent for Black students and 10.9 percent for White students (see table 4). 

The following subjects (see tables 7 and 8) had some of the highest achievement rates (3 or higher for AP and 4 or higher for IB):

 

  • AP Calculus BC – 88 percent
  • AP Chinese Language and Culture – 96 percent
  • AP English Language and Composition – 80 percent
  • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design – 85 percent
  • AP Studio Art: Drawing – 92 percent
  • AP World History – 81 percent
  • IB English – 94 percent
  • IB French – 81 percent
  • IB Mathematics Studies – 92 percent
  • IB Psychology – 81 percent
  • IB Social and Cultural Anthropology – 82 percent
  • IB Spanish A2 – 99 percent
  • IB Spanish B – 89 percent
  • IB World Religions – 87 percent

 

The College Board recognizes students who score a 3 or higher on at least three AP exams as AP Scholars.  Students with an average score of 3.25 or higher on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on at least four exams are recognized as AP Scholars with Honor.  Students with an average score of 3.5 or higher on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on at least five exams are recognized as AP Scholars with Distinction.  National AP Scholars earned an average score of 4 or higher on all exams and a score of 4 or higher on at least eight exams.  In 2010, 2,118 FCPS students were recognized as AP Scholars:  1,076 were recognized as AP Scholars with Honor, 1,821 were recognized as AP Scholars with Distinction, and 343 students were recognized as National AP Scholars.  The total number of students recognized as AP Scholars rose from 4,640 in 2009 to 5,015 students in 2010 (see table 9).

For the class of 2010, 76.9 percent of the students pursuing the IB diploma successfully completed the requirements, with 293 students being awarded the IB diploma.  At Edison High School, 96.2 percent of IB diploma candidates earned the IB diploma. At two FCPS IB schools, more than 80 percent of the IB candidates were awarded the IB diploma: 86.3 percent of IB candidates were awarded the IB diploma at Marshall High School and 81.5 percent of the candidates achieved the IB diploma at Robinson Secondary School (see table10).

Individual school results for AP and IB examinations are available on the FCPS website under school and center profiles. 

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