Advanced Placement Statistics - History


Number of examinees
Year Students
1997 7,667
1998 15,486
1999 25,240
2000 34,118
2001 41,034
2002 49,824
2003 58,230
2004 65,878
2005 76,786
2006 88,237
2007 98,033
2008 108,284
2009 116,876
2012 152,750

The Advanced Placement program has offered students the opportunity to pursue college-level courses while in high school. Along with the Educational Testing Service, the College Board administered the first AP Statistics exam in May 1997. The course was first taught to students in the 1996-1997 academic year. Prior to that, the only mathematics courses offered in the AP program included AP Calculus AB and BC. Students who didn't have a strong background in college-level math, however, found the AP Calculus program inaccessible and sometimes declined to take a math course in their senior year. Since the number of students required to take statistics in college is almost as large as the number of students required to take calculus, the College Board decided to add an introductory statistics course to the AP program. Since the prerequisites for such a program doesn't require mathematical concepts beyond those typically taught in a second-year algebra course, the AP program's math offerings became accessible to a much wider audience of high school students. The AP Statistics program addressed a practical need as well, since the number of students enrolling in majors that use statistics has grown. A total of 7,667 students took the exam during the first administration, which is the highest number of students to take an AP exam in its first year. Since then, the number of students taking the exam rapidly grew to 98,033 in 2007, making it one of the 10 largest AP exams.

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