Jesuit High School's Advanced Placement (AP) program registered excellent test results again in 2020, with a 78% overall pass rate on the AP tests administered in May while also establishing new school marks for most AP courses offered, 26, and the number of AP exams given, 1,112.
The school has maintained strong AP results while it has continued the annual growth trajectory of the AP program. This year marks the 7th consecutive at Jesuit with an AP pass rate of 76% or better. Six AP courses exceeded a 95% pass rate this year and 14 were above 80%.
Since 2011, the number of AP courses and AP exams given at Jesuit has risen every year. The course offerings have escalated from 10 to 26 in that span, while the number of AP exams given has tripled, with 1,112 exams taken this year by 457 AP students.
"Especially this year, with the sudden pivot to virtual learning for the final quarter of the school year because of COVID-19, 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 extraordinary challenges presented this spring, our students and teachers have continued to 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 2020 once again is well above the global and state averages despite Jesuit's requirement that all enrolled AP students must take the AP test and cannot opt out, as many schools allow.
Four Jesuit AP courses produced a perfect 100% pass rate in 2020: Seminar (teacher Austin Freeman '02), Computer Science (Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy), and both AP art courses, Studio Art: Drawing and Studio Art: 2-D Design (Kevin Ball '03). All four of those courses have scored 100% pass rates at Jesuit on multiple occasions, including four straight years at 100% for both Studio Art: Drawing and Seminar.
Two more AP courses that historically have fared very well both scored above 95% this year, Human Geography (97.5%, Vindri Gajadhar) and Biology (95%, Dr. Louis Faso). The all-freshmen Human Geography class has tallied a 97% pass rate or better all six years years it has been offered at Jesuit, and Biology has tested at 86% or better for five straight years. AP Psychology (Bill Eggert '77) had an 89.3% pass rate in 2020, continuing its streak of five straight years at 89% or better.
The remaining seven courses that all had an 80% pass rate or better were: Calculus BC (83.8%, Corey Perich), Chemistry (83.3%, Julie Hust), Computer Science Principles (82.7%, Jason Ault), English Language and Composition (82%, Kathleen Clark), Research (80%, Stephanie Compton), Spanish Literature and Culture (80%, Dr. Cristina Delano, pictured on the homepage), and Calculus AB (80%, David O'Sullivan).
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.)