Report: Latino High School Students Aren't Taking AP Exams

Every year, thousands of high school students take advanced placement exams; however, the shocker stems from who isn’t taking them. According to a report done by The College Board released last week, 60 percent of students who are said to have AP potential didn’t take any AP exams, including many Latino, black and Native American teens. “AP” potential is a likelihood of 70 percent or more that a student will achieve a 3 out of 5 or higher on an AP exam according to their scores on the PSAT/NMSQT.

Out of 771,000 graduates last year said to have AP potential, 62 percent opted out of giving the recommended exam a try. Though the amount of minorities taking an exam went up over the past year, it is still unreasonably low. Seventy percent of Hispanic students who qualified as having AP potential did not take a test compared to 42 percent of Asian students, 62 percent of white students, 74 percent of Native American students and 80 percent of black students according to Huffington Post. To make matters worse, those minorities who did take the exam struggled to obtain high marks. Of the half million students who passed an AP exam last year only 14.6 percent of them were Latino or Hispanic.

Not everyone thinks AP exams are worth taking, however. While passing an AP test can work in favor of students entering college, as some universities use the scores to place students in higher level courses or test them out altogether awarding them credit, others think AP’s place too much emphasis on teaching to the test. “One of the major flaws in the AP system is that every class is geared toward a standardized test,” mentioned Rachel G, a TeenInk contributor from Los Alamitos, California. “The result is that comprehensive learning is sacrificed for the sake of test preparation, with teachers spending the most time on topics likely to appear on the AP exam.”