The number of students taking Advanced Placement exams is up, but according to the latest report from the College Board, a significant numbers of students that should be taking AP tests aren’t. They analyzed the performance of 771,000 PSAT-takers from the class of 2011 and discovered that 478,000 students—over 60 percent—did not take an AP exam even though their test scores indicated they could do well on one. In particular, the College Board found that high scoring students from black, Latino, and Native American backgrounds are “much less likely than their white and Asian peers” to take AP exams.
Eighty percent of black students whose scores indicated that they could have done well in AP classes never enrolled in them, and in the class of 2011 only 9 percent of AP exam-takers were black. By comparison, only 40 percent of Asian students and 60 percent of white students whose scores suggested they should be taking AP classes and exams don’t do so.