NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED516792
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
The Advanced Placement Program Benefits Mainly Well-Prepared Students Who Pass AP Exams. Issues in College Readiness
National Center for Educational Achievement
Many policymakers and education leaders have embraced the Advanced Placement (AP) Program as a tool to strengthen the high school curriculum and prepare students for college. The popularity of the AP program among these policy leaders reflects their belief that the traditional high school curriculum has often failed to provide rigorous courses with well-specified curricular content and end-of-course examinations to verify that students have mastered that content--and that AP courses and exams can supply the rigor missing from the high school curriculum. Further, some policymakers have sought to expand the AP program in schools serving primarily minority and low-income students, in the belief that access to AP courses will promote educational equity and greater readiness for college and career among these students. Are these beliefs supported by the evidence? From 2002 to 2006, the National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA) conducted research on the relationship between students' participation in AP courses in high school and their later success in college--relationships that are often misunderstood or misinterpreted. The research is summarized in a report (Dougherty, Mellor, & Jian, 2006) and a book chapter (Dougherty & Mellor, 2010). This brief highlights the four major findings of this research. These findings are: (1) Taking AP Courses Alone Is Not Related to College Success; (2) Taking AP Courses and Passing AP Exams Is What Matters; (3) Low-Income and Minority Students Have Low AP Exam Passing Rates; and (4) Academic Preparation in the Early Grades is Critical for AP Readiness.
National Center for Educational Achievement. 8701 North MoPac Expressway Suite 200, Austin, TX 78759. Tel: 800-762-4645; Tel: 512-320-1800; Fax: 512-320-1877; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: ACT, Inc., National Center for Educational Achievement