MCPS Student Enrollment in AP/IB Courses Continues to Increase

December 19, 2019

More than 56 percent of Montgomery County Public Schools’ high school students enrolled in at least one Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) course in 2019. Over the past three years, enrollment in AP and IB courses has increased by 6.8 percent throughout the district.

In 2019, all 25 MCPS high schools offered AP courses, and eight schools provided IB programs. Of the 25 high schools, 17 offered 30 or more AP/IB courses. 

“Montgomery County Public Schools continues to be urgent and  intentional about removing barriers to increase participation in our most rigorous coursework and pathways, supporting students’ progress in these experiences,  and raising performance levels that result in profoundly better outcomes for students,” Superintendent Smith said. “Our students continue to demonstrate a strong readiness for college on the AP exams and are better prepared for success in postsecondary education.”

From 2017 to 2019, all student groups saw increases in AP and IB course enrollment. AP and IB enrollment for minority student groups were notable districtwide. Asian, Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino students, as well as students receiving Free and Reduced-price Meals, saw a more than 7 percent increase in participation from 2017-2019.

MCPS students took 41,048 AP exams in 2019, an increase of 644 tests from 2018. Students earned a college-ready score of 3 or higher on 29,334 of those tests. MCPS students accounted for 38.5 percent of AP exams taken by Maryland public school students. The number of AP exams with scores of 3 or higher taken by MCPS students accounted for 41.2 percent of all those in Maryland. The percentage of AP exams taken by MCPS students who attained scores of 3 or higher was 4.7 percent higher than public school students in Maryland (66.8 percent) and 13.6 percent higher than public school students in the nation (57.9).

The number of IB exams taken by MCPS students decreased from 3,770 in 2017 to 3,587 in 2019. The percentage of IB exams with scores of 4 or higher taken by MCPS students decreased 2.2 percentage points in the last three years.

Advanced Placement courses are rigorous, college-level classes that are offered across many subject areas. At the end of these courses, students can take an AP exam. A score of 3 (out of 5) or higher is an indication of readiness for college-level work. Many colleges and universities will give college credit to students who pass an AP class and score a 3 or higher on the exam.

International Baccalaureate courses follow a rigorous curriculum mandated by the International Baccalaureate Organization. At the end of these courses, students can take an exam. An IB score of 4 or higher is considered college-ready.

AP/IB Memo
AP/IB Participation and Performance in MCPS

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