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AP Collegeboard Research

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  • If the percentage of applicants admitted was ≤ 100%, schools were placed in the non-selective segment . Then, if the percentage of applicants admitted was ≤ 85%, schools were placed in the moderately-selective segment . Also, schools accepting 85-100% of the applicants with a mean SAT score ≥ 1130 or a mean ACT score ≥ 24 were placed into the moderately-selective segment from the non-selective segment. (Note that 1130 and 24 were 1 SD above the mean SAT and ACT scores, respectively, for the moderately-selective group when the rule was only “≤ 85% acceptance.”) Then, if the percentage of applicants admitted was ≤ 70% with a mean SAT score ≥ 1025 or a mean ACT score ≥ 22, schools were placed in the selective segment . Then, if the percentage of applicants admitted was ≤ 40% with a mean SAT score ≥ 1250 or a mean ACT score ≥ 29, schools were placed in the highly selective segment .
  • The state of Texas has the second-largest population of AP students in the nation, and because its population contains a significant proportion of traditionally underserved minority students, Texas is an excellent site for continued research on the relationship between AP and college success. Brand-new studies conducted by University of Texas researchers confirm the use of AP Exam results to identify students for college admission and to provide students with college credit and advanced standing. The study followed four cohorts of entering freshmen (1998–2001) at The University of Texas at Austin and accounted for differences in the ability levels of the AP and non-AP students by matching high school rank and college admission test scores. To access the report, visit www.collegeboard.com/research.
  • Another new study by Texas researchers Linda Hargrove, Donn Godin, and Barbara Dodd followed five cohorts of students (1998–2002) who enrolled at any Texas public higher education institution after graduating from a Texas public high school. The study provides an extensive comparison of students' performances on several college outcomes—including first- and fourth-year grade point averages and four-year graduation status—in relation to the various types of AP and non-AP experiences they had in high school, aggregated across all AP subject areas. Results showed that students who had taken one or more AP courses and exams and students who had taken one or more AP courses but no exam significantly outperformed non-AP participants on all college outcomes in all years, after statistically controlling for SAT score and economic status. Among the groups of students studied were: College students who had taken one or more AP courses and exams in high school (i.e., the “AP course and exam” group); College students who had taken one or more AP courses in high school but not the associated AP Exam (i.e., the “AP course only” group); and College students who had not taken any AP courses or exams in high school (i.e., the “standard high school courses” group). SAT score and Free or Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) status were included as control variables in an effort to account for possible ability and income differences between the groups. Results showed that students who took one or more AP courses and exams (i.e., the “AP course and exam” group) and students who took one or more AP courses but no exam (i.e., the “AP course only” group) significantly outperformed the “standard high school courses” group on all college outcomes in all years, after statistically controlling for SAT score and FRPL status. The “AP course and exam” group also significantly outperformed the “AP course only” group on all college outcomes in all years. To access the report, visit www.collegeboard.com/research.
  • Chrys Dougherty, Lynn Mellor, and Shuling Jian, National Center for Educational Accountability (2006). The Relationship Between Advanced Placement and College Graduation. For more information, visit www.collegeboard.com/research.
  • Students who complete AP courses are: better prepared academically more likely to choose challenging majors likely to complete more college level work likely to perform significantly better than students who did not take AP courses more likely to exercise leadership more likely to graduate with a double major twice as likely to go into advanced study – Willingham & Morris, 1986; UT Study 1988

AP Collegeboard Research AP Collegeboard Research Presentation Transcript

  • From a Recent AP Program Survey AP course experience favorably impacts admissions decisions at 85 percent of selective colleges and universities. “ We look favorably on students who have taken AP courses. The presence of AP courses is a sign that a student has chosen to challenge him/herself.” AP Admissions Officer Online Bulletin Board
  • Research on AP
    • Keng, Dodd study conducted by University of Texas found:
      • AP students earn higher GPAs in the advanced college courses into which their AP credit allowed them to place, compared to students with the same high school class rank and SAT® scores who did not earn AP credit and who did not skip the entry-level college course.
      • AP students who place directly into a higher-level college course take more college courses in that same subject area, on average, than students who did not take an AP Exam in that subject area in high school.
  • Research on AP
    • Hargrove, Godin, Dodd study conducted by University of Texas found:
      • AP students statewide in Texas earn higher college GPAs and have higher four-year graduation rates when compared to students with similar SAT® scores and socioeconomic backgrounds who did not take AP courses and exams.
  • Research on AP
    • According to the National Center for Educational Accountability:
      • An AP Exam grade, and a grade of 3 or higher in particular, is a strong predictor of a student’s ability to persist in college and earn a bachelor’s degree.
    • AP: The Facts
    • AP Exam grades are a strong predictor of second-year undergraduate GPA in biological sciences, mathematics, and physical sciences, second in strength only to high school grade point average.
    • Source: Geiser, Saul and Veronica Santelices. The Role of Advanced Placement and Honors Courses in College Admissions . University of California, Berkeley, 2004.
  • AP: The Facts
    • AP students whose AP Exam grades enabled them to skip into third-, fourth-, or fifth-semester courses outperform the students in those courses who had not skipped the prerequisite courses. (Morgan and Ramist, 1998)
    • When compared to non-AP students, students who took AP are twice as likely to take additional courses in those subject areas in college, and in some subject areas these AP students take double the number of additional courses. (Morgan and Ramist, 2000)
  • AP and College Success
    • “One of the best standard predictors of academic success at Harvard is performance on Advanced Placement Examinations.”
      • — William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, Harvard University
  • Students Who Participate
    • Outperform their peers when placed into advanced courses
    • Are more likely to take advanced courses in their AP subject areas
    • Are more likely to choose challenging majors
    • Are more likely to graduate with a double major
    • Are twice as likely to go into advanced study