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Mississippi sees record number of AP students in 2023-23 school year

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The number of Mississippi students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams has reached a record high for the 2022-23 school year, with over 12,000 public school students taking nearly 17,000 AP exams.

According to the Mississippi Department of Education, the number of exams that earned a qualifying score hit a record-breaking total of 5,860.

Compared to 2021-22, the numbers mark a 14.3 percent increase in students taking AP exams, a 14.8 percent increase of tests taken, and a 5.1 percent increase of exams with a qualifying score of three or higher.

Hispanic and African-American students achieved the greatest AP gains with the number of Hispanic students earning a qualifying score increasing by 11.5 percent, and the number of African-American students achieving an increase of 15.6 percent.

Over the past 10 years, the number of Mississippi students taking AP courses and passing the exams — which was 5,056 and 2,437 in 2013 — has more than doubled.

The overall past rate trend on AP exams among all Mississippi students within the past decade has increased from 32.9 percent in 2013 to 34.5 percent in 2023.

“The MDE is proud to see more and more students statewide taking and achieving qualifying scores on AP exams in Mississippi,” Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education, explained. “As schools and districts support access to these exams, students will be better prepared to succeed in college.”

Mississippi is one of 30 states that has established a consistent statewide AP credit policy.

Mississippi’s AP policy entitles students who score three or higher on an AP exam to earn at least three college credits at any Mississippi public university or community college, reducing the cost of attending a university.

The Mississippi State Board of Education requires all high schools to offer and enroll students in advanced courses including AP classes in the four core subject areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

Participation in AP and other accelerated courses is a factor in school and district accountability grades. Funding is available for schools and districts to cover the cost of low-income students’ AP exam fees.

The MDE implemented an AP Initiative in 2015-16 to increase statewide participation in AP courses.

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