The Advanced Placement (AP) program at Jesuit High School continues to make tremendous strides, as the school this week announced outstanding results from AP testing this May.
The data reveals that Jesuit has significantly expanded its AP offerings, vastly increased enrollment in AP courses, and maintained its very high pass rate on the test:
- The 635 exams taken by Jesuit students in 2015 is a 48% increase over 2014 (429), and a 185% increase over 2009 (223).
- The 333 students enrolled in AP courses in 2015 is a 49% increase over 2014 (224), and a 166% increase over 2009 (125).
- Jesuit offered 16 AP courses in 2015, up two from 2014 (14) and seven more than in 2009 (9).
- Jesuit’s overall pass rate of 77% is up more than 20 points from 2009 (56%); is more than double the average for Hillsborough County schools (37% in 2013); and equals the average score from the previous two years at Jesuit despite the tremendous increase in the number of AP offerings and test takers.
Several AP courses at Jesuit fared extraordinarily well. The top three, with perfect 100% pass rates this year, are English Language (teacher Greg Malafronte '05), Statistics (teacher April Bombka), and Studio Art: Drawing (teacher Kevin Ball '03). Two others had nearly perfect scores, Human Geography (98% - teacher Vindri Gajadhar) and Calculus (96% - teacher Molly Biebel).
Human Geography was offered for the first time at Jesuit in 2014-15 and is the first AP course available for freshmen at the school. Calculus had the highest average score of all AP tests taken by Jesuit students, with a 4.5.
“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of our faculty and students,” said Debbie Pacheco, Jesuit’s assistant principal for academics. “Once again, our students showed a high level of performance as the accessibility of our AP courses increased significantly.”
AP scores are reported on a 5-point scale, with a score of 3 or better considered passing:
5 = extremely well qualified
4 = well qualified
3 = qualified
2 = possibly qualified
1 = no recommendation
"Qualified" means the test taker is capable of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject at college. Most colleges and universities grant credit and placement for scores of 3, 4, or 5.
Of all Jesuit students taking an AP test this year (many took multiple AP tests), 80% earned a 3 or better, compared with the state average of 55% and national average of 61%.
These figures are especially impressive considering all Jesuit students enrolled in an AP class are required to take the AP test for that course. (Some schools allow students in AP courses to opt out of the AP test.) Jesuit’s protocol maintains the integrity of the pass-rate data since enrolled AP students must take the test.
The Advanced Placement program, created by the College Board, offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities typically grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. The AP curriculum for each of the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in that field of study.
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