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Vol. 47, No. 67

September 25, 2013


State Education Officials Urge More Students to Take Advanced Placement Classes

New report shows Missouri's participation in AP program is growing


An increasing number of Missouri high school students are taking advanced placement (AP) classes, but state

education officials want to see that number grow as they work to prepare students for the challenges of college, other postsecondary education and careers.

AP Exams in Missouri


A new report from the College Board, which administers the AP program nationwide, shows that students at public schools in Missouri took 26,486 AP classes in 2012, about 1,800 more than the previous year.  

Education officials say AP classes not only offer the opportunity to earn college credit during high school, but also help students succeed in more rigorous college-level coursework. Research has shown that students who successfully complete AP classes are more likely to attend college, be placed in advanced classes, earn higher grade point averages and graduate in four years.

"AP classes are one way schools can offer students experience with the kinds of courses they will encounter in college and the increasingly higher expectations of the workplace," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "We want to continue to increase the number of students taking AP classes to help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need for the future."

A majority of colleges and universities award credit to students earning a 3 or higher on AP exams. The number of AP exams receiving a 3 or higher in Missouri increased by nearly 1,000, from 15,653 tests in 2012 to 16,638 tests in 2013.

While more students in Missouri are successfully completing AP classes, the state ranks 48th among all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the percentage of students participating in the program.

Preparing students for college and careers is one of the major goals of the Top 10 by 20, which calls for Missouri schools to rank among the top 10 performing states in the national in education by the year 2020.

For more information about AP classes, visit For information about how school districts can start an AP program, visit