According to a press release by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), more Arkansas students took Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the 2011-12 – and the state also saw an increase (by 11.8%) of those students scoring a 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams during the same school year.
- The number of test takers increased by 7.4 percent to 22,857 in 2012.
- The number of tests administered increased by 8.6 percent to 39,548.
- The number of tests with scores of 3, 4 or 5 (on a scale of 1 to 5) increased by 11.8 percent to 12,241.
- Of the 3,069 African-American students (13.4 percent of test takers) taking AP exams, 469 students scored a 3, 4 or 5 on 4,964 exams for a 123.3 percent increase since 2007.
- Of the 1,696 Hispanic students (7.4 percent of test takers) taking AP exams, 813 students scored a 3, 4 or 5 on 2,945 exams for a 133.6 percent increase since 2007.
The College Board, which is involved in administrating the Advanced Placement Program across the US, also released information concerning scores for the SAT Reasoning Test, which is used in the college admissions process and was taken by about four percent of the 2012 graduating class. (The majority of Arkansas students take the ACT for college admissions.) Both participation in the SAT and average SAT scores decreased slightly from the previous year.
- The state’s public school students’ mean score in Critical Reading decreased by three points to 565, as compared with a two-point drop in scores nationally to 491.
- The state’s public school students’ mean score in Math fell six points to 567 as compared with a one-point drop in scores nationally of 505.
- The state’s public school students’ mean score in Writing fell six points to 547 as compared with a one-point drop in scores nationally to 481.
Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell said of these scores: “This is great news and evidence that Arkansas students are embracing the rigorous coursework and what it means to be ready for college and careers…Arkansas is making college and career readiness a priority for all students by adopting the Common Core State Standards—academic standards aligned with college- and career-ready expectations”