Data Points: Advanced Placement Students

High school students heading to college often bolster their records — and GPAs — with AP classes but the rate of participation in the Bay Area varies dramatically by county.

Advanced Placement, or AP, classes offer many benefits to students; an A counts for five points when calculating GPA rather than four, and many colleges accept a high enough score on the course-ending AP test as credit for a corresponding course.

However, not all students take AP courses. They’re much more difficult so students often opt for standard courses, and many schools don’t have the staffing to even offer AP classes. Accordingly, participation in AP tests among 10th through 12th graders varies by 20 percent across the Bay Area.

1. Santa Clara – 38.07% of students take AP courses

2. Marin – 36.44% of students take AP courses

3. San Francisco – 34.07% of students take AP courses

4. Alameda – 30.38% of students take AP courses

5. San Mateo – 29.21% of students take AP courses

6. Contra Costa – 28.22% of students take AP courses

7. Napa – 23.30% of students take AP courses

8. Solano – 18.98% of students take AP courses

9. Sonoma – 18.75% of students take AP courses

Urban counties like Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Alameda, and wealthy Marin, lead the way with participation rates over 30 percent. Suburban counties San Mateo and Contra Costa both have rates above the statewide rate of 25.62 percent.

SourceCalifornia Department of Education

2 thoughts on “Data Points: Advanced Placement Students

  1. Unfortunately, the District is not offering AP European History this year. Hopefully they will offer it again since it is one of the few AP classes that have no previous courses required.

  2. I think our community should thank a former Piedmont School District Board member Martha Weare Jones (PhD in Economics, UC Berkeley) and the other Board members of her era for establishing around 2009 many of the AP classes available today at our Piedmont High School.
    AP Art 2-D Portfolio
    AP Art 3-D Portfolio
    AP Biology
    AP Calculus AB
    AP Calculus BC
    AP Computer Science Principles
    AP Computer Science A
    AP English Literature
    AP Environmental Science
    AP European History
    AP French
    AP Chinese
    AP Music (offered every other year)
    AP Spanish
    AP United States History

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