More Bexley High School students are succeeding in getting a jump start for college even before they graduate high school.
According to recent data released by Bexley City Schools, more high school students are entering advanced placement courses and succeeding on year-end exams.
Advanced placement courses are courses representing college-level curriculum, developed by the College Board, a not-for-profit association that advocates the importance of college success to students.
Most colleges, Bexley High School Principal John Kellogg says, offer credit or course exemption for students who score at a certain level in AP year-end exams.
Since 2004, when Bexley City School District began requiring that AP students take year-end AP examinations, the number of students in those AP classes has risen from 140 to 240 and about 240 students take more than one AP course, according to district statistics.
About 73 percent of AP students earned a score of three or better on the 2008 AP examinations. A score of five is the highest a student can earn.
Eighty-five AP students taking the year-end examinations scored a five, which increased 5 percent from spring 2007.
When applying for college, it’s the score of the year-end exam that matters more than the grade of the class, Kellogg said.
"The advantage is that a student’s test score, not grade for the class, provides information in relation to all other students across the nation who took the same test," Kellogg said.
"The test provides information across a broad spectrum of students. Classroom grades and locally-defined curriculum do not. That is the advantage in the admissions process."
At Bexley High School, students can choose among 18 courses that include foreign language courses, science, computer, music, history, language courses and more.
Advantages of taking AP courses are multiple, Kellogg said.
"It offers them an opportunity to sort of ‘test-drive’ college-level work while still in high school," Kellogg said. "It tests their academic abilities and effort."
Students can also take a "high-level course in a content area that is interesting to them," Kellogg said.
One of the biggest advantages to AP courses, according to Kellogg, is the college entrance factor.
"Their scores on AP tests can be included in their application for admission to colleges and may offer then an opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school," Kellogg said.
Bexley High School has an open enrollment policy for AP courses, Kellogg said. Teachers make recommendations of students who would benefit from AP courses, and parents also can request their student be placed in an AP course.
"We have no barriers to entry and work to be inclusive," Kellogg said.