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Georgia ranks 17th in nation for AP performance, improves performance of economically disadvantaged students; state names 255 AP Honor Schools

FOR MORE INFORMATION: College Board AP Cohort State Report | College Board AP Cohort Data Report

February 6, 2020 – Georgia’s public-school class of 2019 has the 17th-highest Advanced Placement (AP) pass rate in the nation, according to data released by the College Board today.

In Georgia, the percentage of class of 2019 public-school students earning a 3 or higher on an AP exam held steady at 23.2 percent. Georgia students recorded stronger AP performance than most Southern states, scoring higher than their peers in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

The percentage of low-income AP test-takers who scored 3 or higher increased in Georgia, from 43 percent in 2018 to 43.7 percent in 2019. 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.

“I’m proud of Georgia’s students, who continue to record strong performance on Advanced Placement exams and outperform their peers in other Southern states,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I’m also pleased to see the gains made by economically disadvantaged students in Georgia, as we work to ensure all students receive an excellent education. Ultimately, our goal is to provide rich opportunities for every student in our state – from advanced coursework like AP to the fine arts, world languages, career exploratory courses, and more.”

Overall, 40.5 percent of Georgia’s class of 2019 took an AP exam while in high school. This is the 15th-highest AP participation rate in the nation. 30.4 percent of Georgia’s class of 2019 test-takers used an AP exam fee reduction.

2020 AP Honor Schools

Additionally, State School Superintendent Woods today named 255 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools for 2020.

“I commend the students, teachers, and staff of these 255 schools,” Superintendent Woods said. “Behind this recognition is an enormous amount of hard work, and I congratulate all those who worked to expand access, improve performance, and build strong Advanced Placement programs in each school recognized today.”

The Georgia Department of Education began recognizing AP Honor Schools in 2008. This recognition began with three categories: AP Access and Support Schools, AP Challenge Schools, and AP Merit Schools. AP STEM and AP STEM Achievement categories were added in 2011, and the AP Humanities category was added in 2015. This year two new categories were added: AP Humanities Achievement and AP Expansion Schools. The AP Merit Schools category was renamed AP Schools of Distinction.  


AP Access and Support Schools (78 named)

Schools with at least 30% of AP exams taken by students who identified themselves as African- American and/or Hispanic and 30% of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher

AP Challenge Schools (39 named)

Schools with enrollments of 900 or fewer students and students testing in English, math, science, and social studies

AP Schools of Distinction (70 named)

Schools with at least 20% of the total student population taking AP exams and at least 50% of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher

AP Expansion Schools (34 named)

AP schools with 25% growth in AP participation from May 2018 to May 2019 and a minimum of 25 students testing in May 2018

AP Humanities Schools (85 named)

Schools with a minimum of five students testing in each of the following AP categories: one ELA course, two history/social science courses, one fine arts course and one world language course

AP Humanities Achievement Schools (70 named)

AP Humanities schools (see above definition) with at least 50% of all AP Humanities exams earning scores of 3 or higher

AP STEM Schools (183 named)

Schools with a minimum of five students testing in at least four AP STEM courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles)

AP STEM Achievement Schools (94 named)

AP STEM schools (see above definition) with at least 50% of all AP STEM exams earning scores of 3 or higher.​