Helena—(February 21, 2018) The College Board announced the class of 2017 Advanced Placement results today. Montana saw a slight increase in the percentage of students taking an AP exam and scoring a 3 or higher on the exam. A score of 3 is the benchmark for college readiness with a 5 being the highest possible score. In the class of 2017, 20.5 percent of students took an AP exam compared to 20.3 percent of students in the class of 2016. Of those, 13 percent scored a 3 or higher compared to 12.8 percent in the class of 2016.

Montana ranks below the national average of 37.7 percent for AP exam participation and 22.8 percent scoring a 3 or above. However, Montana leads all our neighboring states in scoring and is in line with our neighboring states for participation.

Participation in AP programs has been shown to improve college readiness and reduce costs to families by increasing the number of credits that students may enter college with. It is estimated that 2017 AP participation had the potential to save Montana families a combined $2.4 million in college credits.

Two Montana school districts also received recognition on the AP’s District Honor Roll. Helena and Polson School Districts increased access to AP coursework while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning a 3 or higher on AP exams. Both districts have received this honor for multiple years.

“AP participation is a powerful way to increase college readiness and reduce remediation,” said State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “I am proud to see that Montana is moving in the right direction, but we have a long way to go in ensuring that ALL students have the opportunity to succeed. I also want to congratulate and thank Helena and Polson for their work in advancing AP.”

The full AP Program Results: Class of 2017 report can be viewed here: https://reports.collegeboard.org/ap-program-results