Education Spotlight

Randolph High School Students Taking More Advanced Placement Courses than before, Receiving Higher Scores


RANDOLPH, NJ- In 2017, 88 percent of Randolph High School students who took AP exams scored a 3 or higher compared to 71 percent of students in New Jersey and 60 percent of students globally. In 2016, 92 percent of RHS students scored a 3 or higher compared to 72 percent in the state and 60 percent globally.

In addition, the number of RHS students taking AP classes increased from 246 in 2013 to 373 in 2017. The number of RHS students who took AP exams and scored 3 or higher also increased from 232 in 2013 to 328 in 2017, said Randolph Director of Secondary Education Jonathan Olsen. RHS students took 486 AP exams in 2013 and 802 exams in 2017.

In his presentation at the August 15 Board of Education meeting,  Olsen observed that colleges rank "grades in college prep courses" and "strength of curriculum" as the two top factors in the admission decision. In addition, 85 percent of selective colleges and universities report that a student's AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions.

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"We believe every student should have access to AP classes," Mr. Olsen said. "Students who complete AP courses are more likely than their peers to finish college on time."

Only one in four students who enter college complete a bachelor's degree in four years and a recent study showed that students taking AP courses and exams are much more likely to earn a college degree in four years. 

Students need a 3 to pass an AP exam. In 2017, students received a passing score on a total of 659 exams, up from 443 in 2014. In 2017, students received a 5 on 234 exams (which is the highest score a student can receive), a 4 on 247 exams and a 3 on 234 exams.

Randolph High School has 79 AP scholars in 2011, 88 in 2016 and reached an all-time high of 140 AP scholars in 2017 with 140 students receiving scores of 3 or higher on 3 or more AP exams.

Randolph High School had 47 AP Scholars, 41 AP Scholars with Honor, 51 AP Scholars with Distinction and 7 National AP Scholars this year. The high school also granted 6 AP Capstone Diplomas and 29 AP Seminar and Research Certificates. Randolph is one of 11 New Jersey high schools which offer AP Capstone.

For more information, please read Mr. Olsen's presentation.

Randolph High School plans to offer three new AP courses this year. They are: Spanish Literature and Culture, Human Geography and Government and Politics.

Randolph High School Principal Debbie Iosso said RHS students continue to excel on Advanced Placement tests. "Our high school has made significant and notable gains in so many areas ~ not the least of which is our AP offerings to include great scores and many more students participating," she said. "Our staff members attend professional development to be sure that they are in the forefront of AP course offerings and do a great job working with our passionate AP students.  Just one example of our outstanding achievement in the AP world is the awarding of at least 6 AP Capstone Diplomas at the 2018 graduation ceremony.  These students completed the AP Capstone two year program and additionally passed 4 other AP exams.  Kudos to all."

Caption: Randolph High School Director of Secondary Education Jonathan Olsen shares data on Randolph High School students rising AP exam scores with the Randolph Board of Education at its meeting on August 15.

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