RANDOLPH, NJ- More Randolph High School students took Advanced Placement classes and AP exams in 2018 than ever before and continue to perform well on the exams.
Randolph Director of Secondary Education Jonathan Olsen said the 2017-18 AP exam results are quite impressive. “In short, our students and teachers performed exceptionally well this year,” he said. “We had the most exams taken in our district’s history with the most students passing exams than ever before. In fact, 89 percent of Randolph High School students who took an Advanced Placement exam in the 2017-18 school year scored a 3 or higher, compared to 72 percent in New Jersey and 61 percent globally.”
Randolph High School offered 19 AP classes in the 2013-14 school year and will offer 30 in the 2018-19 school year, Olsen said. Over the past five years, the Randolph AP Program has seen significant growth. In the spring of 2014, 254 students took 496 AP exams while in 2018, 430 students took 916 AP exams. In 2014, 226 students received a score of 3 or higher on at least one exam, which is considered a passing score, while in 2018, 381 students received a score of 3 or higher. Students can score a 1-5 on an Advanced Placement exam, but colleges and universities require that a student receive at least a 3 or higher on an exam to be eligible to receive college-level credit.
In the 2017-18 school year, almost 30 percent of exams taken by Randolph High School students earned the highest score of 5, while almost 32 percent received a score of 4. The College Board defines success as a score of 3 or higher “which represents the score point that research finds predictive of college success and graduation.” In 2014, Randolph High School students received 183 4’s and 155 5’s while in 2018, RHS students received 291 4’s and 274 5’s. This shows an increase from 338 scores of 4’s and 5’s in 2014 to 565 4’s and 5’s in 2018.
Randolph Superintendent Jennifer A. Fano said she was encouraged by the new test results for 2018. “It is something to celebrate,” she said, adding that this achievement should be also credited to Randolph High School’s AP teachers who work hard to prepare their students for the tests. “It is a team effort and really something to be proud of,” Ms. Fano said.
Ms. Fano also attributed the success of Randolph High School students “to the continued support of our Board of Education for the district’s Advanced Placement program.”
The Advanced Placement courses also better prepare students for college, noted Director of Guidance Charles DiMiceli. “When enrolled in an AP course, students complete college-level coursework while in high school demonstrating to college admission officers that they have sought out an educational experience that is rigorous and prepares them for success in college and beyond.”
Randolph is also one of a handful of school districts selected from across the country for the AP Capstone Program, according to Randolph High School Principal Debbie Iosso. “The AP Capstone program is built on the foundation of two classes: AP Seminar and AP Research and is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth and discipline-specific study achieved through Advanced Placement courses,” she said. “The AP Capstone program enhances rigorous academic skills necessary for in-depth research regardless.”
Students who take the AP Seminar class, followed by the AP Research class and receive scores of a 3 or higher on these exams and four other AP exams will receive an AP Capstone Diploma, demonstrating their academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who receive a 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP research exams and who do not take other AP exams will be eligible to receive an AP Capstone Certificate.
“The AP Seminar and AP Research classes within the Capstone Program will help students prepare for college by giving students access to interdisciplinary curricula more frequently seen in graduate-level coursework,” Mr. Olsen noted.
Over the past two years, Randolph High School students have been awarded 29 College Board Capstone Diplomas and over 30 AP Seminar and Research Certificates, Mr. Olsen said. Students who have graduated from high school after completing the Capstone Program have gone on to many selective colleges including the University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, New York University, United States Military Academy at West Point, Emory University, University of Virginia and Cornell University. “The Advanced Placement Capstone program has given our students another avenue to demonstrate to colleges their commitment to academics and the ability to perform at a college level,” emphasized Mr. Olsen.
In 2017, six Randolph High School students earned every possible point on the AP research exam, according to Mrs. Iosso. There are only 176 students globally who have earned this distinction.