Montgomery County Public Schools students took a record number of Advanced Placement exams in 2012, according to a MCPS statement.
The percentage of exams earning a score of 3 or higher—a "college-ready score"—also increased, the statement added.
MCPS students took 32,974 AP exams in 2012—1,240 more than in 2011. It was the most exams taken in any year in MCPS history. Seventy-five percent of the exams received a score of 3 or better—up 3 percentage points from 2011 and the highest percentage since 2006, the statement added.
Statewide, the percentage of AP exams earning a score of 3 or higher in 2012 was 61.4 percent. Nationwide, that number was 57.3 percent, the statement added.
"These results show that our efforts to provide students with access to rigorous classes are making a difference and that our students are prepared for this work," Board of Education President Shirley Brandman said. "The positive trends in AP participation and performance provide evidence that MCPS is breaking down barriers and providing more challenging curricular opportunities for students of all races and ethnicities."
African-American and Hispanic students in county schools "continued to outperform their peers across the state and the nation on AP exams," MCPS stated. Across the county, 51.8 percent of exams taken by African-American students received a score of 3 or better, while the state average was 30.9 percent, and the national average was 27.7 percent, MCPS reported.
The number of Hispanic students taking AP exams has increased more than 90 percent in the past five years. Sixty percent of exams taken this year by Hispanic students received a score of 3 or better—higher than the state average of 53.4 percent and the national average of 41.3 percent, MCPS reported.
Other highlights of county schools' 2012 AP performance, according to MCPS, include:
- There were 16,797 students who took at least one AP exam in 2012, an increase of 537 students from 2011. Of the students who took at least one AP exam, 76.7 percent had at least one exam that earned a score of 3 or higher, an increase of 3.4 percentage points from 2011.
- Fourteen high schools saw an increase from 2011 in the number of AP exams taken, with the largest increases at Walt Whitman (an increase of 323 exams), Thomas S. Wootton (an increase of 313 exams), Northwest (an increase of 297 exams), Winston Churchill (an increase of 237 exams) and Quince Orchard (an increase of 145 exams) high schools.
- Eleven MCPS high schools saw growth in both the number of AP exams taken and the percentage of those exams receiving a score of 3 or better. Of those schools, the biggest jumps in the percentage of exams earning a score of 3 or better were at Wheaton High School (an increase of 9.6 percentage points), Rockville (an increase of 8.1 percentage points), Bethesda-Chevy Chase (an increase of 5 percentage points), Sherwood (an increase of 4.3 percentage points) and Damascus (an increase of 2.8 percentage points) high schools.
- Four MCPS high schools—Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Montgomery Blair, Col. Zadok Magruder and Rockville—saw an increase from 2011 in both the number of exams taken by Hispanic and African-American students and the number of those students' exams that earned a score of 3 or better.