Black Students Taking More AP Tests, But the Racial Scoring Gap Persists

Nationwide, African Americans made up 14.7 percent of the 2011 high school graduating class. That year, Black students took 197,163 Advancement Placement examinations, or 7.2 percent of all AP tests. Yet, Blacks made up only 4.1 percent of the students who passed an AP examination.

AP tests are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Scores of 3, 4, or 5 are considered passing grades. The average score for Black students on AP tests in 2011 was 1.89. For whites, the mean score on AP tests was 2.97. The racial gap in AP test scores has widened in recent years as the number of African Americans who are taking these tests has expanded.

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