More students in Prince George’s County passed Advanced Placement exams this year while SAT scores dropped slightly as the number of students taking the college admission test increased, according to data recently released by school officials.
The number of students taking AP exams increased by more than 7 percent this year, and the number of tests with a score of 3 or higher increased by 6.5 percent.
“This is good news and it demonstrates that we are moving towards our goal of ensuring that students graduate college- and career-ready,” said Schools Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell in a statement. “Through our Advanced Placement and secondary school reform initiatives, we are making academic improvements to ensure students have the opportunity to take part in rigorous college-level work.”
Almost 775 Hispanic students took AP exams last year, an increase of nearly 20 percent. More Hispanic students also took the SAT, jumping from 416 test-takers in 2012 to 870 this year.
School officials said they are trying to ensure that all students have access to college-level work and receive tests that gauge their readiness for college.
As a result, the district in recent years has expanded opportunities for AP coursework and taking AP and SAT exams.
AP coursework is offered online, and the school system covers the costs of AP tests, regardless of economic status. Last year, it also scheduled SAT exams during the regular school day.
The average SAT score was 1,207 this year, dropping from 1,274 last year.
Math and writing scores dropped nearly the same amount, 23 and 24 points respectively.
Nearly 2,000 more students took the exam this year as the school system launched district-wide “SAT School Days,” which allowed students to take the test during school free of charge. The test is normally administered on Saturdays.