Only 35% of the AP Tests Taken At Marlborough High Earn College Credit; AMSA at 79.6%

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MARLBOROUGH – While Massachusetts students are #1 for the second consecutive year for Advanced Placement (AP) test results, students at Marlborough High are struggling with getting college credit level scores on the exams.

In 2021, 2020, 2018, and 2016, Massachusetts’ graduating classes have had the nation’s highest percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP test.

In 2021, 373 AP exams tests (not students but tests) were taken at Marlborough High, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).

A score of 3 or above on an AP exam shows a student’s capability to complete work for an introductory college-level course in that subject area, according to the College Board, which administers the AP tests.

Of those tests, 34.6% scored a 3 or higher, making the student eligible for college credit

But 65.4% of the test scores were 1s and 2s making the student ineligible for college credit.

Of the 373 tests, 120 tests had a score of 1 and 124 had a score of 2.

Only 18 tests had a score of 5, the highest level.

In comparison, at the Advanced Math & Science Charter School (AMSA) in Marlborough, 79.6% of the 504 tests taken in 2021, received a 3 or better.

Only 29 tests had a score of 1 and 132 tests had the highest score of 5, with 127 tests receiving a score of 4.

Students take AP courses in high school, in part, for the chance to earn college credit and placement from a score of 3 or higher on an AP Exam.

New data show the benefits of taking AP courses and exams, including for students who score a 1 or 2.

  • AP students from all backgrounds, including those with average scores of 1 or 2, are more likely to enroll in a four-year college compared to academically similar students who did not take AP.
  • Students who earn AP scores of 2 are well prepared to succeed in introductory college courses. Students who earned scores of 2 on AP Exams perform as well or better in introductory college courses, compared to academically similar college peers who did not take AP.
  • Many students who first score a 1 or 2 on an AP Exam take further AP courses and score higher.


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