AP test participation, scores increase at T.C. Williams in 2018

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T.C. Williams High School (Photo Credit: Aleksandra Kochurova)
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Advanced Placement test scores and test participation rose at T.C. Williams High School between the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years, according to results released by Alexandria City Public Schools on Friday.

A total of 931 students at ACPS took 2,021 AP tests in spring 2018 according to ACPS’ Department of Accountability, meaning 36 percent of students took at least one AP test, a three percent increase from 2017. Participation is down from its high of 40 percent in 2014 and from 2015 when 38 percent of students took a test.

Of those students, 72 percent received a score of 3 or higher in 2018, meaning they will receive college credit, in comparison to 61 percent in 2017. ACPS reported that 22 percent earned scores of 5, the highest attainable score, six percentage points more than in
2017.

“This is a great result all [a]round. Not only did more students take the AP tests this year, but they scored better than ever before. ACPS is supporting students to achieve their best and make the most of opportunities that they may not simply get elsewhere,” T.C. Williams Principal Peter Balas said in a statement.

The scores and participation were the highest they’ve been for ACPS since the school district began paying for AP tests in 2005. When the program started in ACPS, 473 students – or 23 percent of the student body – took at least one AP test. At that time, 39 percent of students received a passing grade of 3 or higher and 9 percent attained the highest grade of 5.

ACPS did see some decreases, including in the percentage of seniors earning grades of 3 or better, which went from 28 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018. 

The percentage of students who received a 3 on an AP test at least once in their high school career also decreased by 5 percent from 37 to 32 percent, according to the College Board’s “Equity and Excellence” index.

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