Georgia’s AP pass rate holds despite COVID impact

Georgia’s public-school class of 2020 has the 17th-highest Advanced Placement (AP) pass rate in the nation, according to data released by the College Board this week.

Georgia’s AP pass rate, and its rank among other states, stayed the same from the class of 2019 to the class of 2020. The Georgia Department of Education calls that “an encouraging indicator” given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on last year’s students.

“I’m so proud of the class of 2020 for their continued accomplishments, and extremely pleased to see that Georgia’s students maintained their strong performance on AP exams even given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in their final year,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “In a challenging time for schools and students, this is good news as we continue our work to expand advanced learning opportunities to all students.”

The percentage of students earning a 3 or higher on an AP exam was 23.2 percent for Georgia’s class of 2020, as it was for the class of 2019. Georgia students recorded stronger AP performance than most Southern states, scoring higher than their peers in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

The percentage of low-income AP test-takers who scored 3 or higher increased in Georgia for the second year in a row, rising from 43.7 percent for the class of 2019 to 49.4 percent for the class of 2020. This figure is based on the performance of students who used an AP exam fee reduction, which states look to as a marker of equitable participation for low-income students.

Overall, 38.5 percent of Georgia’s class of 2020 took an AP exam while in high school. This is a slight decrease compared to the class of 2019 – of those students, 40.5 percent took at least one AP exam. The national participation rate dropped slightly as well, from 39.9 to 38.3 percent.

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