Press Releases - OSPI
LanguagesA-Z IndexPrinter Friendly Image

 For media inquiries,
 please contact:


   Twitter   Facebook    Email me Email


State AP Scores and Participation Rate Rise Again
College Board estimates Washington state AP test takers could save more than $53 million in college costs.

OLYMPIA — February 24, 2016 — More Washington students are taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams with a score of 3 or higher, according to a report released today by the College Board. That means more students are better prepared for college. And they’re saving money on college credits when they get there.

Taking AP courses is challenging. Not only do students build skills used in college and career, they also have the chance to earn college credit while they’re still in high school.

“Taking AP courses is challenging,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Not only do students build skills used in college and career, they also have the chance to earn college credit while they’re still in high school.”

College Board’s report shows that 37.4 percent of Washington high school graduates in the class of 2015 took at least one AP exam. That number increased from 36.1 percent last year and 19.7 percent 10 years ago.

College Board offers AP exams in 37 subjects. Students take the tests in May and receive scores on a scale from 1 to 5. Washington’s participation rate continues to rise, along with the number of students who pass the exams with at least a 3. In 2015, 22.6 percent of Washington’s graduating seniors scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP test. In 2014, that number was 22.0 percent; in 2005, it was 12.6 percent.

Washington ranked 15th in the nation for the number of 12th graders (22.6 percent) who scored a 3 or higher on AP exams. Maryland was first at 31.7 percent. The national average was 22.4 percent.

6th Annual Honor Roll Districts
College Board’s AP Honor Roll recognizes school districts that increase access to AP coursework and the percentage of students who score a 3 or higher. Washington’s honor roll districts include:

  • Aberdeen
  • Archdiocese of Seattle Education Office
  • Battle Ground
  • Eatonville
  • Issaquah
  • Lake Washington
  • Marysville
  • Riverview
  • Snoqualmie Valley
  • Spokane

Top 10 Tests
The most popular AP exams in Washington are (in order):

  1. English Language and Composition
  2. United States History
  3. English Literature and Composition
  4. Calculus AB
  5. World History
  6. United States Government and Politics
  7. Biology
  8. Statistics
  9. Psychology
  10. Chemistry

More Information
Visit the Advanced Placement page on the OSPI website to learn more.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

Twitter | Facebook | Flickr

Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
(360) 725-6032 |

Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 2/24/2016

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA    98504-7200    360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
Contact Us    |    Site Info    |    Staff Only    |    Privacy Policy