AP classes offer rigorous college-level learning options to students in high school, and the exams are given by the College Board, which also administers the SAT.
Students can be tested in multiple subjects, including mathematics, science, foreign language, art, history and English.
For Cobb alone, 7,169 students took 13,364 AP tests in 2012, compared to 6,680 students taking 12,539 exams in 2011; and in Marietta, 222 students took 283 AP tests in 2012, after 221 students took 278 tests the year before.
Statewide, 77,949 students at both public and private schools took 132,266 exams in 2012, and 72,384 students took 120,706 tests in 2011.
Kathleen Angelucci and Tim Stultz, members of the Cobb County School Board, addressed the importance of offering AP classes to their students during last week’s board meeting.
“(AP’s) rigor is great for student achievement, including STEM now, where a lot of future great jobs and careers lie in visionaries of science and math,” Stultz said. “I think it’s a good testament of what we’re doing here in Cobb County.”
Angelucci said she didn’t think people realize just how many more of Cobb’s students take AP classes and do “very well” on the AP exams year after year.
“It increases across all of our high schools,” she said. “These kids go on to perform well in college, and they graduate with honors. We are very proud of our kids at our high schools.”
The tests that coincide with the classes allow universities to offer class credits or advanced standing to students who score 3 or higher on AP exams.
For Cobb, that means students qualified for one or both designations on 8,996 exams, as well as on 98 at Marietta High School and 74,077 in Georgia.
These figures could bode well for Cobb and Marietta students when applying to four-year colleges if they aren’t already enrolled.
Patrick Winter with the University of Georgia Admissions Office confirmed that about 95 percent of the freshmen who enrolled in 2012 took at least one AP course, and the average freshman took about six in high school.
“Our research demonstrates that students taking a curriculum in high school that goes above and beyond the minimum of what is required are better prepared for the rigors of academic work in college,” he said.