The Racial Gap in Advancement Placement Test Scores

apAccording to the latest data from The College Board, the average score on AP examinations for African American students in 2015 was 2.05. On the AP scoring system of 5 to 1, a score of 2 is equivalent to a grade of D in a college-level course. For White students the average score on all AP tests was 2.98, roughly equivalent to a letter grade of C.

But there is a wide disparity in success levels for African American students on AP examinations. Of the 36 AP examinations offered in 2015, African Americans scored the highest on several foreign language tests. The highest average score for Black students was on AP test on Spanish literature and culture. The average African American score on this test was 3.04. This was the only AP test where the mean Black score was higher than 3.0, equivalent to a letter grade of C.

The second highest average score for Black students was on the Spanish language and culture test. On this test the average Black score was 2.99. While Black students scored relatively well on these AP Spanish tests, a racial gap with White scores persists.

The third highest score for Black students was on one of the two AP tests for calculus. The mean Black score was 2.95. But Whites had a mean score on this test of 3.74

The lowest average AP score for Black students was on the physics 1 test. The average Black score was 1.60. Blacks also posted low average scores on AP tests in chemistry, environmental science, and statistics.

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