News Release, Maryland State Department of Education

BALTIMORE  – Maryland student success on the Advanced Placement (AP) remains steady, while high participation rates on the rigorous tests continue.

According to a report released by the College Board, 31.5 percent of the Maryland Class of 2019 earned a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP exam while in high school. This rate is well above the nationwide number of 23.9 percent and nearly identical to Maryland’s Class of 2018. Maryland’s rate also places it fifth in the nation, just after California, Florida, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

A score of 3 or better is the threshold at which many higher education institutions award college credit to high school students on an AP assessment.

The percentage of Maryland graduates taking an AP test while in high school was strong at 46.9, with 26,421 members of the Class of 2019 in the State taking at least one exam. Maryland’s participation rate was well above the national rate of 38.9 percent and was also fifth in the nation.

“Our administration is committed to ensuring that Maryland students have access to the high-quality education they need to compete in today’s 21st-century workforce, which is why we introduced legislation this year to expand access to AP exams,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Congratulations to our students, educators, and administrators for continuing to lead the nation in Advanced Placement assessment achievement.”

Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, said the AP program is one key pathway to preparing a brighter future for students after high school.

“Maryland’s continued commitment to AP demonstrates our focus on preparing graduates for success in post-secondary education.  The Advanced Placement courses provide important options aimed at challenging our students,” said Dr. Salmon, “and we believe our students will continue to rise to new levels of advanced achievement.”

Maryland in 2017 launched the Lead Higher Initiative, designed to close equity gaps for lower-income students and students of color in AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.  The goal of this program is to increase the participation of under-represented, academically prepared students. Over the last three years, ten Maryland school systems with fifty-one schools have participated in this initiative.

The College Board’s new report of the college-level assessment program provides a variety of information about the Class of 2019.   For example:

  • The percentage of Maryland graduating seniors scoring a 3 or better on an AP test has increased from 24.6 percent in 2009 to 31.5 in 2019—a leap of 6.9 percentage points.
  • Nearly half of all 2019 Maryland high school graduates took at least one AP exam while in high school, and that percentage has increased steadily over the past decade.  In comparison, 39.5 percent of the Maryland Class of 2009 had taken at least one AP exam during their high school career.
  • The number of Maryland high school graduates who scored a 3 or better on an AP exam increased from 14,360 in 2009 to 17,725 in 2019.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program, which began in 1955, allows students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Students of different interests and backgrounds can choose from more than 30 courses to demonstrate their knowledge of the rigorous academic curriculum.  More information about the AP program is available at

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...