More high school students are taking Advanced Placement tests in Arkansas and are earning better scores than before, the state Department of Education announced in a news release Thursday.
The department said that 6.6 percent more students took the exams in 2013 and 8.6 percent more scored a 3 or higher out of a possible score of 5. Both averages are greater than the national average increases — 5.7 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively — according to data released by the nonprofit College Board, which provides SAT and AP assessments.
Most national colleges accept a score of 3 or higher for college credit in that particular subject, the department said.
Officials attribute the success largely to Act 2152 of 2005, which made Arkansas the only state that pays for its students' AP tests, the department said. Other factors include the addition of more pre-AP classes at the junior-high level and more training for teachers, the release states.
The department said the most popular AP tests of 2013 were English language, English literature, U.S. history, world history and AB calculus.
College Board also released data showing that the state's average SAT scores in critical reading, math and writing increased slightly in 2013, with 897 students taking those exams.
Read more about this story in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.