Cape AP students achieve highest exam passing rate in school history

Minority student scores continue to increase
August 25, 2020

Cape High Advanced Placement student outcomes continue to improve, as 168 students scored a 3 or higher on one or more AP exams in 2020, the highest passing rate in Cape history, Principal Nikki Miller said.

In 2019, 98 Cape High students scored a 3 or higher on one or more exams, which was also a school record at the time, said Miller.

Miller said more students are interested in taking AP courses and exams than in prior years. In 2018, 165 students took AP classes and 356 took exams; in 2020, the number had grown to 255 students taking 383 exams; 66 percent of students scored a 3 or higher. 

Teachers have been integral in recruiting students for AP classes, Miller said.

Minority student scores have also increased along with the number of minority students participating in the program, Miller said. Data from the past several years shows the mean score of Hispanic students is 3.05, Black students is 3.05, students of two or more races is 2.93 and white students is 2.64.

Regardless of scores, Miller said, the advanced courses help students prepare for college.

“We want them to pass, but the biggest piece is the level of content they’re exposed to,” Miller said. “They’re not as shocked as college freshmen.”

Many U.S. colleges and universities will grant credit and/or let students who score a 3 or above on an AP course skip the equivalent subject course when they enroll. 

According to the College Board, which administers the exams, the college course equivalent for a score of 3 is B-, C+ or C; for 4 is A-, B+ or B; and for 5 is A+ or A.

Miller said Cape has added more AP classes in different subject areas, and students can now take some AP courses, such as human geography and Spanish, as freshmen.

“Our immersion students will be able to take AP Spanish right away in ninth grade,” Miller said.

Among the AP classes offered at Cape High are biology, chemistry, calculus, computer science, environmental science, European history, language and composition, music theory, physics and statistics.

New Cape High Assistant Principal Kristin DeGregory has taken over management of Cape High’s AP program; Kyle Bentley, who previously oversaw the program, was named assistant principal at H.O. Brittingham Elementary.

On Aug. 18, high school teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators delivered yard signs to students who scored a 3 or better on the exams.

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