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    Drummond: More PYLUSD students taking and passing AP tests
    • October 12, 2023

    Advanced Placement students at the four comprehensive high schools in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District completed another stellar year, with a significant increase in both the pass rate and the number of examinations administered.

    And 63 seniors who earned the International Baccalaureate diploma at Valencia High School exceeded the number from the county’s other IB high schools, a record held for seven years.

    Passing scores – three or higher on a five-point scale for AP and four or higher on a seven-point scale for IB – can earn university credit and allow students to bypass introductory courses. Decisions on credits and placement are made by individual universities.

    A total of 4,493 AP examinations were administered during the annual May testing period to freshman through senior students at El Dorado, Esperanza, Valencia and Yorba Linda high schools, a nearly 7% increase over last year. The already high pass rate increased by 2%.

    Here’s how each high school scored on the AP tests, according to district-provided data:

    El Dorado administered 1,156 exams in 25 subjects for an 84% pass rate, up from 1,008 exams in 22 subjects for a 77% pass rate last year.

    Esperanza administered 565 exams in 22 subjects for an 83% pass rate, up from 548 exams in 20 subjects for a 78% pass rate last year.

    Valencia administered 1,557 exams in 29 subjects for an 86% pass rate, up from 1,473 exams in 24 subjects for an 87% pass rate last year.

    Yorba Linda administered 1,215 exams in 26 subjects for an 88% pass rate, up from 1,083 exams in 27 subjects for an 88% pass rate last year.

    Interestingly, AP Chinese language is now offered at each high school, and the pass rate for the 51 students who took the exam this year was 100%. And the number of chemistry exams administered jumped nearly 75% to 229 with a 98% pass rate.

    The IB program at Valencia administered 412 exams in 19 subjects with a 93% pass rate. Currently, 65 seniors and 95 juniors are enrolled in IB, according to Fred Jenkins, IB coordinator.

    Scores on 13 of the exams were significantly higher than world averages, including economics, computer science, psychology, biology and history, ranging from 18% to 75% higher.

    The Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education diploma, offered at Valencia since 2021, represents “breadth across the curriculum and depth in selected subjects, with a balance of maths and sciences, languages and arts and humanities,” according to program criteria.

    This year, the number of exams given increased by 122%, from 46 to 102; the pass rate increased by 9%, to 80%; and the number of 10th through 12th grade students taking an exam increased by 70%, from 44 to 75.

    Jim Drummond is a longtime Yorba Linda resident. He gives his opinion on local issues weekly. Send e-mail to [email protected].

    ​ Orange County Register