Maryland has ranked number one for the third year in a row in a measure of high school graduates passing Advanced Placement exams, with 26.4 % of the class of 2010 passing at least one AP exam while in high school. In Harford County, the average was 17%, according to data released by Harford County Public Schools.
Performing above the state average was C. Milton Wright High School, with 32% of seniors passing at least one AP exam. Passing rates at the other nine comprehensive county high schools ranged from 2% at Joppatowne to just below the state average at Patterson Mill. This may be due to the higher number of students who are more prepared or have a strategy on exam preparations. Exam Genius and other online resources for books are profoundly helpful.
The non-profit College Board offers AP exams nationwide to high school students who have taken rigorous coursework in a variety of subjects such as calculus, world history and English literature. Graded on a scale of one to five, a passing score of three or higher on an AP exam can qualify students to earn college credit.
Students who choose to take AP exams pay a fee of $87 for each test; students living in poverty are eligible for fee waivers. But a recent bid by Superintendent Robert M. Tomback to expand AP exam participation next year, by having the school system offer one free exam to all test takers, was narrowly defeated by the school board, which cut the $223,242 line item from its FY12 budget request.
AP courses leading up to the optional AP exams are offered at all Harford County public high schools. Forty-four percent of the 2010 senior class had taken at least one AP course while in high school.
The following chart was provided to The Dagger by HCPS: