AP and IB scores have been continuously increasing over the past few years; to pass the exams, students must receive at least a three or higher on an AP exam and at least a four or higher on an IB exam.Principal Dr. Debra Munk claims no single factor caused the increase in AP and IB scores. She said, “I think our students are better prepared [for the tests] from their Pre-IB and honors classes… [Also] teachers have become more comfortable teaching the content.”
Every year, the number of students taking the AP exam has increased along with the average scores these students receive. The percentage of AP students who score a three or higher on an exam rose from 43.8 percent in 2010 to 49.8 percent in 2011; they rose again to 57.7 percent in 2012.
Similarly, the number of IB students taking the exam also increased along with the scores. Eighty-three percent of IB students scored a four or higher in 2010. In 2011, the percentage of students who scored a four or higher has rose to 85 percent. Last year, a staggering 89 percent of IB students scored a four or higher.
“I think the students took studying and preparing for the test more seriously and it really showed in the results,” said AP NSL teacher Steven Watson. He also believed that some AP students procrastinated and waited until the last minute to start studying, which would explain why some scores were so low.
Although the general AP scores have increased, there are still some subjects that have a very low average of scores. Some subjects that fall into this category are AP Biology, which has an average score of 1.7 and AP Literature and Composition, which has an average of 2.4.
However, there are two major AP classes whose averages have been increasing each year since 2010. Those classes are AP Spanish Language with an average of 4.1 and AP US Government with an average of 3.4. AP statistics had the greatest increase because in 2010, their average was 2.8, but in 2012, it rose all the way to 3.9.
“All the practice and past experiences that the IB teachers have, along with the students’ practice and studying… is what really played into the increase of IB scores,” said Pre-IB and IB English teacher William Jameson. According to Dr. Munk, the benefits of passing the AP and IB exams prepares students for the rigor of college. Also, some colleges give credit for passing scores, allowing students to save time and money.
For those students who are getting ready to take either the AP or IB test, the best thing to do is study hard throughout the whole year. Also, do not lose any of the notes that are taken in class because they are extremely valuable in the final weeks before the exam.