TRENTION — More New Jersey students are passing Advanced Placement exams than the national average, according to new data.

Twenty-eight percent of New Jersey’s students in 2017 successfully passed an Advanced Placement exam, moving the state from ninth to seventh in the nation, College Board data shows. The national average is 22.8 percent.

“Our students are on the path to leading the nation in AP exam achievement,” said Lamont O. Repollet, acting commissioner of the state Department of Education. “This means more schools are helping make college more affordable to more students.”

Students who score a 3 or higher on the AP exams are considered passing. The exams are graded on a five-point scale. The tests, administered by the College Board, allow students to earn college credit while in high school.

Overall participation in the AP exams has almost doubled in the last decade. The College Board says that more than 1.17 million students in the class of 2017 took 3.98 million AP Exams in public high schools nationwide, up from 691,437 in 2007.

That achievement can be seen in Middle Township School District, which was recently honored by the College Board in its 2017 AP Honor Roll. Of the 447 districts selected for the AP Honor Roll for 2017, 39 were from New Jersey. The honor roll consists of districts that simultaneously achieved increases in access to Advanced Placement courses and also maintained or improved their passing rate on the exam.

Middle Township Superintendent David Salvo said that the student participation increase demonstrates the district is preparing students well for higher education.

"Our dedicated, well trained staff and hardworking students certainly are to be commended for this great accomplishment," he said.

According to the latest state data, Middle Township had 29.7 percent of students enrolled in one or more AP class in the 2016-17 school year and had students enrolled in 13 different classes. Twenty-six percent of students took at least one AP exam. In all, 177 exams were given, of which 131 were passed. The year prior, 23.9 percent of students were enrolled in at least one AP class and 20.5 percent took at least one test.

"To be recognized for this achievement, with inadequate state funding, further validates our school district’s commitment in delivering a strong academic program. The data doesn’t lie," Salvo said.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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