UTHS students getting headstart on college

TV6 Investigates: Illinois AP Test Scores
Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 10:45 PM CDT
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EAST MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - Illinois is the nation’s fastest-rising state when it comes to students who score high on Advanced Placement exams.

About a quarter of Illinois students scored 3 or higher last year, enough to allow them to skip some college courses.

But one Quad-City high school is seeing even better results.

Megan Mumma is a senior at United Township in East Moline, but she’s already a year ahead of her college classmates.

“I’ve taken seven AP exams in between last year, and this year,” she said. “I will almost be a sophomore in college, because of the credits that I will have earned from my courses.”

United Township students finished their Advanced Placement exams this week.

57 students took AP tests this year in courses from Spanish to calculus. In 109 total tests, 38 students – or 59% – scored a 3 or better.

That’s more than twice as high as the state average — 25%.

Senior Olivia Hansen took AP tests in biology, calculus and Spanish.

Couple her high AP scores with dual credits, and she can cover her first semester of college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the fall.

“College credit was a lot of it,” she said. “But why work so hard if you’re not going to reap the benefits of it at the end?”

While Advanced Placement tests are a bellwether for academic success, dual credit courses are earning more attention from students because they allow students to earn college credits in high school.

In addition to students who took AP exams, UT had 836 dual credit enrollments last year, accounting for 2,631 credit hours. Many of those came in trade programs.

Educators say they’re proud to see so many students succeed – and continue their education after high school.

Kai Killam, the assistant principal at UT, said the success is a joint effort.

“I think it’s a combination of the best kids and really good teachers, and they absolutely are prepared for those tests,” he said.

Megan, who took five AP exams this year, said she is anxiously awaiting to receive her test results in July.

AP Credit and Placement

Source: collegeboard.org

Credit: You can graduate college early and save money on tuition by earning credit through AP Exam scores.

Advanced Placement: You can skip certain introductory courses and gain placement in more advanced courses through your AP scores.

Some colleges offer you the chance to both earn credit and skip a course (i.e., after gaining advanced placement) with a qualifying AP score.

Websites for AP information for area universities

Search colleges you’re interested in or planning to attend to find out about their credit and placement policies: AP Credit Policy Search

AUGUSTANA COLLEGE: Pre-enrollment earned credit for first-year students (advanced placement)

BLACK HAWK COLLEGE: NonTraditional Credit

WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY: AP credit, CLEP Subject Exams, International Baccalaureate (IB) Subject Exams