Hawai‘i Ranked 2nd Nationwide in AP Exam One-Year Performance Growth

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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) is continuing to see increases in the number of students who are both taking and passing Advanced Placement Program (AP) Exams, according to the College Board AP Program Results: Class of 2018.

Hawaii’s high school graduates continue to make gains in Advanced Placement (AP) exams, in both the number of exams taken and scores of 3 or more. PC: Department of Education

The results show that 4,141 Hawaiʻi public high school seniors in the graduating class of 2018 took an AP Exam while in high school, an increase of 2.4% from the previous year. 1,908 of these graduating seniors scored 3 or higher on an AP exam, an increase of 1.9% over the previous year.

This increase of 1.9% among graduates scoring a 3 or higher was the second-highest one-year gain nationwide, behind only the District of Columbia’s increase of 2.8%. Compared to the nation, Hawaiʻi ranks fifth in score improvements over three years, up 3.9%, and ninth over five years, with an increase of 5.4%.  Over 10 years, Hawaiʻi ranks twelfth nationwide in score improvements with a growth of 9.5%.

“Our efforts toward increased opportunities for students to access college-level courses are showing great results, in part, through AP access and increased student score performance year over year since 2007,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “We are delivering on our college and career readiness promise through deliberate partnerships with community organizations, PK-12 educators, higher education and parents with a focus on student success.”


In May 2018, Hawaiʻi public and private high school students took a total of 8,478 AP Exams that resulted in scores of 3, 4, or 5 (total includes all freshmen through seniors). Based on students’ opportunity to earn at least three college credits for each AP Exam score of 3 or higher, this represents an estimated 25,434 college credits.  At an average rate of $360 per credit hour, the total potential cost savings for Hawaiʻi’s students and families was $9,156,240.

Hawaiʻi public schools offer a total of 364 authorized AP college-level courses and exams at 38 high schools. The AP Program provides students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams are aligned with the same high standards expected by college faculty at some of the nation’s leading liberal arts and research institutions. More than 3,800 colleges and universities annually receive AP scores. Most four-year colleges in the U.S. provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying exam scores.

Click here for more information about the AP Program Results: Class of 2018 report and here for more information on HIDOE College and Career Readiness programs.



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