Maui News

College Board: More Hawaiʻi Students Are Taking AP Tests, Scoring Higher

February 9, 2020, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated February 8, 1:32 PM
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Maui High School AVID students with their Chromebooks

Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) students continue to show growth on Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) exams, according to the College Board.

The results for school year 2018-19 demonstrate an increase in the number of exam takers, exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher that result in college credits.

“The Department’s commitment to preparing students for college and career can be seen in the perennial growth shown on AP exams over time,” said Alisa Bender, assistant superintendent, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design.

“Our students have inspired us with their efforts to embrace AP level courses while also earning qualifying marks on a record number of exams. Our 2030 Promise Plan will continue to empower our reach by embracing key indicators that speak to the acquisition of post-secondary credits. I would like to commend our students, families, educators, and school administrators for these positive results which will continue to shape our future of education.”

Each AP exam is graded on a five-point scale as follows: 5 = extremely well qualified; 4 = well qualified; 3 = qualified; 2 = possibly qualified; 1 = no recommendation.

Nearly 14 percent of HIDOE students who took an AP exam in school year 2018-19 earned an AP Scholar Award. At 10 high schools, 18 students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

Additional AP Scholar highlights include:

  • 540 students at 34 HIDOE schools earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP exams.
  • 168 students at 26 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
  • 192 students at 28 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
  • 540 students at 34 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP exams with scores of 3 or higher.

The College Board also offers an AP Capstone program that provides student-centered learning while incorporating performance-based assessments. Throughout the program, AP Seminar and AP Research students study topics across multiple disciplines and have the flexibility to choose topics of personal interest to show mastery of critical thinking, research and presentation skills.

During school year 2018-19, 15 HIDOE students earned the AP Capstone Diploma™ and 36 students earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™. To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP exams.

Kalani, Kealakehe, Mililani, Roosevelt, and Waiakea high schools were among more than 1,900 schools worldwide to participate in the AP Capstone program in school year 2018-19. Radford High School joined the group this school year and Moanalua High School will join next school year.

More than 3,800 colleges and universities annually receive AP scores. Most four-year colleges in the US provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying exam scores.

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