Missouri Students Show Improvement on AP Exams


Missouri students have increased their scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The latest data show that 12.2 percent of 2017 graduates in the state scored a 3 or better on AP exams, an increase of nearly one percent from 2016 and double the percentage from 2007.  

AP classes offer several advantages for students, including portability of scores to a variety of colleges and universities in Missouri and across the country. Students who score 3 or higher have been shown to earn higher grade point averages in college, and they are more likely to graduate from college in four years. A score of 3 indicates a student is qualified in a subject, 4 is well qualified, and 5 is extremely well qualified.

“Congratulations to the students and teachers across Missouri who took on the challenge of AP courses,” said Interim Commissioner of Education Roger Dorson. “We are proud of them for making such great progress.”

Teachers do not need AP certification to teach AP classes, but proposed syllabi must be approved by a panel of current AP instructors and higher education representatives. Content-specific training is available to better prepare teachers to successfully offer their AP courses.

Three Missouri school districts attained the AP District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP classes for their students while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on the exams. All three have made the list for multiple years:

  • Nixa Public Schools
  • Parkway C-2 School District
  • Francis Howell School District

AP participation is one of several measures Missouri uses to determine college and career readiness. Nineteen percent of Missouri‘s class of 2017 took AP classes in high school. In addition, 43 percent of 2017 graduates were enrolled in dual enrollment or dual credit classes. An additional two percent were enrolled in International Baccalaureate courses.