Number of Missouri Students Taking Advanced Placement® Exams Doubles


A new report from the College Board shows that more than twice as many Missouri students took Advanced Placement (AP®) exams in 2013 than in 2003. The number of low-income students taking the exams increased tenfold, jumping from 129 in 2003 to 1,575 in 2013.

The number of Missouri high school graduates who scored 3+ on the AP® tests more than doubled, increasing from 2,766 in 2003 to 5,767 in 2013. In fact, more graduates scored 3+ in 2013 than the total number of graduates who took the exams (4,256) in 2003.

Several public school districts in Missouri made the AP® Honor Roll:

  • Francis Howell School District R-III

  • Kirkwood School District R-VII

  • McDonald County School District R-I

  • Rockwood R-VI School District

  • Wentzville School District R-IV

While Missouri doubled the number of graduates who scored 3+ on the exams over ten years, it still ranked low nationally in students who passed. The national average of 2013 graduates who scored 3+ was just over 20 percent; Missouri came in at 9.5 percent, ahead of only four other states.

“The increase in students taking the exams and succeeding shows that we’re moving the right direction toward preparing our students for college and career,” said Sharon Helwig, Assistant Education Commissioner in the Office of College and Career Readiness. “Every student should have the opportunity to take an AP® class.”

The AP® program allows students who are planning their postsecondary education to develop college-level knowledge and skills and earn college credit. In Missouri, students can earn at least three college credits for each AP® score of three or higher. At an average of nearly $270 per credit hour, that can equal significant savings for students and their families. AP® students who score 3+ are also more likely to earn higher GPAs in college and graduate from college within five years.

Missouri schools can learn more about implementing AP® programs by contacting the College Board.

Ensuring that all Missouri students graduate college and career ready is the top goal of the Top 10 by 20 initiative, which is aimed at placing student achievement in Missouri among the top 10 performing states in education by 2020.