The Racial Scoring Gap on Advanced Placement Tests

Overall, the mean score for whites in 2007 on all Advanced Placement tests was 2.95. The mean score for blacks on all AP tests was 1.04 points lower at 1.91. Thus, blacks scored the equivalent of more than one letter grade below whites on these tests which measure competence in college-level work.

The largest black-white scoring gap was on one of the two computer science tests. On that exam, the mean white score of 3.07 was 1.42 points higher than the mean black score of 1.65. The black-white scoring gap was also at least 1.00 point (equivalent to a full letter grade in a corresponding college-level course) on 15 other AP examinations.

The mean black score on the French test was 2.69 compared to the mean white score of 2.65. This was the only AP examination where the mean black score was higher than the mean score for whites.