What is it about?

This article looks at existing data and past research to ascertain the academic benefits of the Advanced Placement (AP) program. Independent research on the AP program is surprisingly thin. This article is my attempt to survey the past research and make suggestions for the future of AP research and practice.

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Why is it important?

Some of the findings in this article may surprise people: -Overall, about 1/3 of AP students don't take their course's test. For some courses, about 1/2 of students don't. -The more popular a course is, the lower the test's passing rate tends to be. -No one really knows how large the AP program's academic benefits are. They could be zero. Also, there is a need for serious improvements in the quality of AP research, and the article gives recommendations to researchers.


This article is based on a presentation about the AP program that I gave in multiple locations. It raises important issues about the benefits of AP and the quality of AP research. The article is open access (meaning it is free to read, download, and share), and I hope that parents, teachers, policy makers, and researchers read it and gain a more realistic understanding of the AP program.

Dr Russell T. Warne
Independent Scholar

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Research on the Academic Benefits of the Advanced Placement Program, SAGE Open, January 2017, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/2158244016682996.
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