A total of 20,638 Utah public school students took 33,217 AP exams during the 2012-13 school year with 22,398 of those exams earning a score of 3, 4 or 5, which can translate into college credit. This represents an increase of 8.4 percent students taking exams, an 8.7 percent increase in number of exams taken, and a 7.1 percent increase in exams with scores of 3, 4, or 5, the College Board reported today. Utah minority student population also increased its participation rates, the College Board noted. Mexican-American participation increased 10.7 percent, Asian participation increased 19 percent, American Indian 21.1 percent, black 22.5 percent, and Hispanic 23.3 percent. White participation increased 8.5 percent.
Utah public school students earned college credit on AP exams at a rate of 67.4 percent, easily besting the national rate of 56.9 percent.
“It’s very gratifying to see more of our students from a variety of backgrounds opting to voluntarily increase the rigor of their education by participating and succeeding in this program,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove. “This is a measurable step forward in meeting the challenges of helping all Utah students become college and career ready.”
The College Board also reported that Utah public schools saw an 8.3 percent drop in SAT college entrance exam participation in 2013, but saw reading scores increase seven points to 594, a one-point decrease in math scores and a 6-point increase in writing scores over 2012 rates. Utah SAT participation is waning as participation in the ACT exam, the other major college entrance exam, approaches 100 percent. Nationally, the average SAT reading score was 491 (even with 2012 rates), math 503 (down two points), and writing 480 (down one point), the College Board noted.