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Advanced Placement Excellence

Advanced Placement Excellence

It was a historic year for Jesuit High School's Advanced Placement (AP) program, with school-record results achieved in all AP testing metrics across the board in 2024.

The Tigers shattered the mark for overall pass rate at 90.1%, eclipsing the previous mark of 84.1% set last year. Jesuit also established new highs in AP courses offered (29), students enrolled in AP classes (494), and AP exams administered (1,207).

In addition, new records were set for most AP courses with a 90% pass rate or better (16), and most above 80% (23).

AP test scores are reported on a 5-point scale, with a 3 or better considered passing. American universities typically grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores. Jesuit's 90.1 % overall pass rate is well above the global (69%) and state (66%) averages despite Jesuit's requirement that all enrolled AP students must take the AP exam in that course in May and cannot opt out, as many schools allow. This requirement maintains the integrity of Jesuit's AP program.

Leading the way in 2024 are eight AP courses that achieved a perfect 100% pass rate: Chemistry (teacher Julie Hust), European History (Ian Edwards ’05), Human Geography (Vindri Gajadhar), Precalculus (Kevin Hughes), Seminar (Austin Freeman ’02), Spanish Language & Culture (Bert Roney), Spanish Literature & Culture (Oscarina Quinones), and Studio Art - Drawing (Kevin Ball ’03).

It marks the 4th consecutive year with a perfect pass rate for both Chemistry and Human Geography. Offered the past 10 years at Jesuit, all with Gajadhar at the helm, the all-freshman AP Human Geography course has never had below a 97% pass rate.

Seminar, which is part of the AP Capstone Program along with Research (93.8% pass rate), achieved a 100% for the 8th straight year (both Capstone classes are taught by Freeman). Spanish Literature & Culture (Quinones) earned 100% for a third straight year, and both AP Art classes have achieved very high pass rates for years.

The highest average score among all Jesuit AP courses was a remarkable 4.87, achieved by Precalculus, followed by Human Geography (4.77), Chemistry (4.42), and Psychology (4.39).

Psychology (96.8% pass rate), taught by Bill Eggert ’77, has sustained a decade of excellence, never scoring below an 89% pass rate in 10 years offered at Jesuit, all with Eggert teaching the class.

Other AP courses surpassing a 90% pass rate this year were: U.S. History (98.9%, Chris Barrett), English Literature & Composition (98.5%, Greg Malafronte ’05), English Language & Composition (97.9%, Angela Hamrick), Biology (96.6%, Kelly Kim), World History (91.1%, Kyle Cramer), and Studio Art – 2-D Design (90%, Ball).

English Language surpassed 90% for a 4th straight year and scored 45 percentage points better than the state and national averages. English Lit exceeded 90% for a third straight year.

Several courses earned pass rates far above the state and national averages. Environmental Science (88.6%, Lauren Maguire) scored 35 percentage points higher than the national average; Latin (83.3%, Cynthia Allen) was 27 points higher than the national average/48 higher than the state average; Physics 1 (78.1%, Corey Perich) was 31 points higher than the national average; and Statistics (80.6%, Ruston Broussard) was 31 higher than the state average.

Other AP courses with very high pass rates in 2024 included U.S. Government & Politics (89.5%, Edwards) and Computer Science Principles (87.5%, Jason Lublin).

“Once again this past school year, our students and teachers have demonstrated a very high level of performance,” said Debbie Pacheco, Jesuit's assistant principal for academics. “We are extremely proud of their dedication toward achieving academic excellence, and their success in AP testing.”

Under Pacheco's leadership, Jesuit’s AP program has long had strong participation and success. This year marked the seventh straight with 449 or more AP students enrolled, and sixth straight with more than 1,000 AP exams administered. Three times previously, in 2016, 2018, and 2023, Jesuit eclipsed an 84% pass rate, with 2024 being the first time exceeding 90%. Of the 494 Jesuit students enrolled in one or more AP courses during the 2023-24 school year, 96% scored a 3 or better on an AP test, which also is a school record.

The Advanced Placement program, created by the College Board, offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. 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.