Hawaii Public School Students See Double-Digit Gains on AP Exams

Hawaii’s public school students continue to show growth on the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) Exams.

In a report released today, Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) students who were tested last May show double-digit increases in the number of exam takers, exams taken and scores of 3 or higher.

2015-16 2016-17 % Change
# of Exam Takers 5,958 6,599 +10.8 percentage points
# of Exams Taken 8,972 9,903 +10.4 percentage points
Students scoring 3, 4 or 5 3,634 4,178 +15 percentage points

“The year-over-year growth the department has shown on AP Exams since 2007 is promising, and demonstrates that our students are developing a better understanding of the advantages that the AP Program provides to prepare for college,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The number of students who are scoring 3 or higher on these exams, which has gone up by 15 percentage points since last year, shows that more students are getting the resources they need to gain college credit through this exam. My vision is to have all students take at least one AP level course or Early College course as part of their high school curriculum. Congratulations to our students and their families, teachers and school leaders on these fantastic results.”

Approximately 11 percent of the Hawaii public school students who took an AP exam in SY 2016-17 earned an AP Scholar Award. At eight HIDOE high schools, 11 students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. Additional highlights from the College Board results include:

  • 717 students at 37 HIDOE schools have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP Exams.
  • 134 students at 25 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
  • 131 students at 24 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
  • 433 students at 36 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores of 3 or higher.

For the first time in Hawaii, the AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate were awarded to students at HIDOE schools. The AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate are reported to colleges and universities as AP Scholar Awards and appear in Scholar Roster reports. The AP Capstone Diploma is granted to students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing. The AP Seminar and Research Certificate is granted to students who earn scores of 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research. Schools need to apply to College Board to become an AP Capstone school. Currently, Kalani, Mililani, Roosevelt, and Waiakea high schools are certified.

Through 38 different college-level courses and exams, AP Program provides students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams are aligned with the same high standards expected by college faculty at some of the nation’s leading liberal arts and research institutions. More than 3,800 colleges and universities annually receive AP scores. Most four-year colleges in the U.S. provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying exam scores.

For more information about the AP Exam and HIDOE results, click here.

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