The number of Mississippi students taking AP courses and passing AP exams have both nearly doubled since 2013.

Mississippi’s graduating class of 2021 achieved a 39.1% qualifying score rate for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, an increase from the previous year’s achievement rate of 38.2%.

AP courses are college-level courses offered by trained high school teachers. Students can earn three college credits for every AP exam they pass with a qualifying score of 3 or higher.

Among the class of 2021, 18.2% (4,972) of graduates took a total of 10,865 AP exams during their high school experience, according to the College Board’s AP Cohort Data Report for Class of 2021 issued today. Though achievement on AP increased, the number of students taking AP exams declined. Among the class of 2020, 20.7% (5,235) of graduates took a total of 11,526 AP exams.

Though the class of 2021 saw a drop in AP participation, overall, the number of Mississippi students taking AP courses and passing AP exams have both nearly doubled since 2013.

“AP courses provide students with a rigorous level of learning and help them develop the study skills they need to be successful in college,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “The AP experience also helps colleges and universities identify students who can master college-level material.”

Mississippi’s AP policy entitles students who score three or higher on an AP exam to earn at least three college credits at any Mississippi public university or community college. This policy has the potential to save Mississippi families millions of dollars on college tuition. In Mississippi, public and private high school students earned 5,914 AP® qualifying scores of 3, 4, or 5 in 2021. These scores translate into a potential savings of close to $5.2 million in tuition for students and their families because each qualifying score is worth at least three college credits.

Research shows AP students are better prepared for college and more likely to graduate college in four years than non-AP peers. Students earning college credit can save what they would otherwise have to pay for another year of college.

Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.

Press Release

4/1/2022