Jesuit High School's Advanced Placement (AP) program registered outstanding test results in 2019, with an 81% overall pass rate on the AP tests administered in May.
It marks the 6th consecutive year at Jesuit with an AP pass rate of 76% or better, and the fourth time the school has eclipsed 80%. Also, once again this year Jesuit had at least 10 courses exceed a 90% pass rate.
The excellent AP test results have continued as the school has expanded its AP program annually. Since 2011, the number of AP courses and AP students at Jesuit has risen every year, with the courses escalating from 10 to 24 in that span, while the number of AP students has grown from 139 to 459. Next school year, 2019-20, Jesuit will have 26 AP selections, adding Microeconomics and Spanish Literature and Composition, and also expects to enroll more AP students for the 9th straight year.
"We are so proud of the hard work and dedication toward achieving academic excellence of our students and teachers," said Debbie Pacheco, Jesuit's assistant principal for academics. "We have continued to increase our AP course offerings and accessibility, and our students and teachers have continued to meet the challenge and demonstrate a very high level of performance."
In AP testing, scores are reported on a 5-point scale, with a score of 3 or better considered passing. American colleges and universities typically grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. Jesuit's pass rate in 2019 once again is far above the global (64.5%) and state (59.2%) averages.
Five courses produced a perfect 100% pass rate in 2019: Studio Art: Drawing (teacher Kevin Ball '03), Seminar (teacher Austin Freeman '02), Computer Science (Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy), Psychology (teacher Bill Eggert '77), and Research (teacher Stephanie Compton). Seminar (for juniors) and Research (seniors) comprise the AP Capstone Program, which completed its very successful third year at Jesuit with another perfect pass rate.
Under Ball's direction, Studio Art Drawing has had a perfect AP pass rate for three straight years, and Ball's other AP art class, Studio Art: 2-D Design, had a 90% pass rate this year.
AP Psychology has generated exceptional results under Eggert's direction since its implementation at Jesuit in 2015-16, achieving a 90% pass rate or better all four years while also being one of the more popular AP choices. The perfect pass rate for Psychology in 2019 was achieved by 36 students with an average score of 4.58, the highest average score at Jesuit this year.
The next-best average AP scores were achieved by Human Geography (4.34 avg. score, 98% pass rate, teacher Vindri Gajadhar), and Calculus BC (4.24 avg. score, 86% pass rate, teacher Corey Perich). Both classes historically have fared extremely well, as Gajadhar's all-freshmen AP Human Geography course (which had more than 90 students this year) has had a 97% pass rate or better all five years, and Calculus BC was 93% last year.
Three more Jesuit AP classes topped a 90% pass rate in 2019: English Language and Composition (95%, Greg Malafronte '05), European History (92%, Emily Kokol), and Biology (90%, Amy Martin). It is the fifth straight year at 88% or better for English Language and Composition, and fourth straight at 86% or better for Biology.
Other Jesuit AP courses that had strong pass rates in 2019 AP testing were Spanish (84%, Cristina Delano), Physics 2 (83%, Dan Noyes), World History (82%, Sam Mandt '93), Statistics (80%, April Bombka), and Calculus AB (77%, Perich). Spanish has exceeded 84% for four straight years, and Physics 2 has eclipsed 83% in consecutive years
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. Jesuit maintains the integrity of its AP program and test results by requiring all enrolled AP students to take the AP exam in that course. (Some schools allow students in AP courses to opt out of the AP test.)
Jesuit is awaiting some of the AP test data from the College Board and expects soon to publish a full listing of the school's National AP Scholars and AP Scholars with Distinction later in August.