AP Exam Participation Increased 30% at DMPS in 2014

apexamsup30Records are meant to be broken: after Des Moines Public Schools students took an all-time high of nearly 2,000 Advanced Placement exams in 2013, this spring saw more than 2,500 AP exams taken by DMPS students.

DMPS students took a total of 2,581 AP exams in May, up from 1,986 in 2013, 1,759 in 2012 and 1,071 in 2011. The number of AP exams taken by DMPS students in 2014 is 30% higher than last year and 140% higher than four years ago.

Enrollment in AP courses at DMPS has tripled since 2011 as course offerings have expanded at all five high schools as well as Central Academy.

Students may take AP exams each May at the end of Advanced Placements courses. Many colleges and universities provide students with college credit for exam scores of three or higher (on a scale of one to five).

“Des Moines Public Schools has proven itself to be a leader in Iowa and the nation when it comes to offering students access to high-level academic programs, such as Advanced Placement,” added Superintendent Tom Ahart. “Our approach to AP is a win-win, providing thousands of students access to these college-level courses at their home high schools while maintaining Central Academy as one of the premier AP programs in the nation.”

“Our students and teachers are stepping up to the challenge of taking and teaching these college-level courses thanks to the school district’s support of making AP courses available to more and more students at all of our high schools and Central Academy,” said Amber Graeber, Advanced Placement and Social Studies Coordinator for Des Moines Public Schools.


Last month, the Iowa AP Index – released by the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa – for the second time ever listed all five Des Moines high schools among the top 50 AP schools in the state. In addition, Central Academy once again received special recognition for being Iowa’s top-ranked program on the AP Index. The rankings are based on the number of AP exams taken by students and the number of graduates from the spring of 2013. The rankings are based on data from last year, and do not reflect this year’s significant increase.

For additional information about Advanced Placement, visit www.collegeboard.org.