TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools students took more than 10,000 Advanced Placement exams during the 2021-2022 school year and nearly 65 percent of those exams earned a college-ready score of 3 or higher, according to data recently released by the state.
Among Maryland’s 24 school systems, BCPS ranks seventh in AP exam performance for the 2021-2022 school year.
BCPS students took 10,306 AP exams last school year, an increase of more than 2,300 tests from the 2020-2021 school year. Students earned a college-ready score on 64.5 percent of those exams, an increase of 3.1 percentage points. BCPS students outperformed their peers across the nation. During the 2021-2022 school year, 61 percent of AP exams taken by students across the nation scored a 3 or higher1.
“Our students continue to excel on Advanced Placement exams and are demonstrating their readiness for college-level work,” said Superintendent Darryl Williams. “We celebrate these results and remain focused on expanding efforts to provide students with access to rigorous classes as well as the supports and resources they need to be well-prepared for success.”
Several BCPS high schools saw increases in AP exam participation and performance. Five schools – George Washington Carver Center, Eastern Technical, Perry Hall, Sparrows Point, and Towson high schools – saw increases of more than 20 percent in both AP exam participation and performance.
AP course enrollment, exam participation, and performance among certain student groups also improved. For example, 42.8 percent of the AP exams taken by BCPS African American students earned scores of 3 or higher, a 4.8 percentage point increase from the 2020-2021 school year and 2.8 percentage points higher than those in the state (40 percent). AP course enrollment for students receiving Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARMS) also increased 59.8 percent from the 2021-2021 school year and 41 percent of the exams taken by English Language Learners (Els) earned a college-ready score, a 4-percentage point increase from the 2020-2021 school year.
Advanced Placement courses are rigorous, college-level classes that are offered across many subject areas. At the end of these courses, students can take an AP exam. A score of 3 (out of 5) or higher is an indication of readiness for college-level work. Many colleges and universities give college credit to students who pass an AP class and score a 3 or higher on the exam.
The BCPS strategic plan, The Compass: Our Pathway to Excellence, establishes the system’s priority to increase achievement for all students while preparing a variety of pathways that support the development of college and career-readiness for students. BCPS College and Career-Ready Pathway, a trajectory of academic milestones from kindergarten through graduation, provides critical markers to examine student progress towards college and career-readiness. AP exam participation is an achievement marker on the BCPS College and Career-Ready Pathway.