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AP Testing Excellence
Posted 07/29/2021 06:17PM


Jesuit High School's Advanced Placement (AP) courses had another superlative year of test results, setting several new marks of achievement as the school's AP program continued its impressive development and overall excellence.

Jesuit's AP classes set new records in at least two areas: 17 courses with pass rates of 80% or better, and 7 with perfect pass rates of 100%. The 11 courses with pass rates of 90% or better is second-most in school annals (12 in 2018).

The excellent results on the AP tests administered in May were achieved as the AP program continues to grow, with a Jesuit-record 27 AP course offerings in 2020-21 and the second-most AP exams given, 1,090.

The seven AP courses that produced perfect 100% pass rates in 2021 were: Chemistry (teacher Julie Hust), Human Geography (Vindri Gajadhar), Latin (Nick Werner), Seminar (teacher Austin Freeman '02), Physics C (Corey Perich), and both Studio Art: Drawing and Studio Art: 2-D Design (Kevin Ball '03).

For Seminar and the two Art courses, it marks an amazing fifth straight year they have achieved perfect pass rates. The all-freshmen Human Geography class has tallied a remarkable 97% pass rate or better all seven years it has been offered at Jesuit. Human Geography and Chemistry registered the highest average scores this year from among all of Jesuit's AP classes, 4.74 and 4.56, respectively.

Near-perfect pass rates were achieved on AP exams this year in English Language and Composition (98%, Kathleen Clark), Psychology (98%, Bill Eggert '77), Spanish Language (96%, Bert Roney), and Environmental Science (92%, Lauren Maguire). For AP Psychology, it marks the sixth straight year with an 89% or better pass rate.

An additional six courses had pass rates above 80%: Statistics (85%, April Bombka) and five courses that exceeded 80% in 2020 as well - Spanish Literature and Culture (83%, Dr. Cristina Delano), Calculus BC (83%, Corey Perich), Calculus AB (83%, David O'Sullivan), Biology (81%, Dr. Louis Faso), and Computer Science Principles (80%, Jason Ault). This year marked the seventh straight that Biology has tested at 81% or better.

"We are extremely proud of the dedication toward achieving academic excellence of our students and teachers," said Debbie Pacheco, Jesuit's assistant principal for academics. "Our AP course offerings and accessibility have continued to grow, and despite the unique challenges presented since the end of the 2019-20 school year and throughout this past school year, our students and teachers have continued to demonstrate a very high level of performance."

Under Pacheco's leadership, Jesuit has maintained strong AP results while it has continued the annual growth trajectory of the AP program. The 78.6% overall pass rate in 2021 marks the 8th consecutive year the school has tallied an overall AP pass rate of 76% or better.

Since 2011, the number of AP courses and AP exams given at Jesuit has risen almost every year. The course offerings have escalated from 10 to 27 in that span, while the number of AP exams given has tripled, with 1,090 exams taken this year by 449 AP students.

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 2021 once again is well above the global (61.6%) and state (57.9) averages despite Jesuit's requirement that all enrolled AP students must take the AP exam in that course and cannot opt out, as many schools allow. This requirement maintains the integrity of Jesuit's AP program.

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.

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