A record number of South Carolina students took Advanced Placement courses and took and passed AP exams last school year while the state’s SAT scores dropped slightly and remained well below the national average.
The state’s AP scores were the bright spot, though, as scores showed more students were prepared to take college-level courses.
The total number of South Carolina students who took AP exams increased 4.8 percent from 25,526 in 2014 to 26,750 in 2015. The number of exams those students took also increased, from 40,122 to 42,303, a bump of 5.4 percent.
The number who passed, scoring a three or higher on a five-point scale, rose 6.7 percent from 22,674 to 24,203 while the percentage who passed remained flat from 2014 at 57 percent, a percentage point better than the national average. Students who earn a 3 or higher can often qualify for college credit.
Half of S.C. seniors took the SAT exam last spring and the state’s average score dropped from 1429 to 1428. The nationwide mean score was 1462.