Analyzing Trends in Student Performance on the Stanford Achievement Test, Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, and Advanced Placement Exams
Cantu, Clara 1979-
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For the United States to prosper and compete in this new world of increased globalization, all students have to prepare themselves to be productive citizens and work toward receiving additional education past the secondary level. Private organizations such as the College Entrance Examination Board (a.k.a. College Board) have assisted in preparing students for a college education through rigorous coursework provided by the Advanced Placement Program (AP). The AP program gives students the opportunity to receive college level curriculum while still in high school. With research indicating the linkage between the academic achievement of students who participate in rigorous college-level courses in high school and the completion of a college degree, there is increased pressure for high schools to provide college-level preparatory coursework for their students. The AP program is one of the methods used in high schools to prepare students for college. Given the relationship between students’ passing of AP exams and their college degree attainment, analyzing the characteristics of an AP student who is successful on the AP exams can provide valuable information on the level of preparation a student possesses before partaking in a given AP exam. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to use multiple data sources to analyze trends in student performance on Stanford Achievement test, Preliminary PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying (PSAT) test, and AP exams. This study used archival student test data for approximately 12,000 students and discovered there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between Stanford Achievement Test and AP exam scores as well as reaffirmed an already examined positive relationship between PSAT and AP exam scores. In addition, this study provided expectancy tables, which indicates the percentage of students passing an AP exam at various test score levels on the Stanford Achievement Test and PSAT test. This information will prove useful to administrators for identifying students who should be strongly encouraged to enroll in AP courses.