CORRECTED: Number of Columbia High Students Scoring 3 Or Higher On AP Exams Increases By 10 Percent


High percentage of 2023 graduates who took AP exams earns CHS special recognition from the College Board.

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Editor’s note: this press release has been corrected by a new press release the South Orange-Maplewood School District issued on November 28, 2023. See that press release here

From the South Orange-Maplewood School District:

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. – The number of Columbia High School (CHS) students who scored three or higher on AP exams increased by 10 percent over the past two graduating classes, District officials announced today. A total of 205 students earned a score of three or higher on the exams’ five-point scale on exams that were taken in Spring 2023. In the previous year, 185 students earned a score of three or higher.

Many colleges and universities will award college credit for a course to a student who scores a three or higher on an AP exam.

“I am very proud of the trend that is being established by our Columbia High School students and teachers,” said Dr. Kevin Gilbert, Acting Superintendent of the South Orange and Maplewood School District. “To graduate high school with eligibility for college credit is a tremendous advantage, and we will continue our work in making the opportunity to succeed in Advanced Placement course available to every high school student.”

“Our students continue to rise to the challenge of taking rigorous courses and excelling in them,” said Columbia High School Principal Frank Sanchez. “I am very grateful to our teachers and for their work in bringing out the best in these students, to our students’ parents who give their unfailing support to their children, as well as our Counseling Department.”

Many of the 205 members of the CHS Class of 2023 took more than one AP exam and scored a three or higher on multiple exams. The following chart shows the number of exams taken that scored a three or higher in each subject area.

Subject # of Exams with Score 3 or Above (2023)
2-D Art & Design 13
Art History 14
Biology 42
Calculus AB 8
Calculus BC 4
Chemistry 5
Comparative Gov & Politics 22
Computer Science A 9
Computer Science Principles 7
Studio Art – Drawing 2
English Literature & Composition 28
Environmental Science 15
European History 25
French Language & Culture 7
Italian Language & Culture 4
Physics C 25
Psychology 38
Spanish Language & Culture 10
Spanish Literature & Culture 6
Statistics 65
United States Gov & Politics 52
United States History 1

The District’s announcement followed the College Board’s notification that Columbia High School was among the 38 schools of 476 eligible high schools in New Jersey, the top 8 percent, to meet these criteria. The high ranking earned the school the College Board’s “Gold” distinction with its AP School Honor Roll Award.

For a school to be recognized on the AP School Honor Roll, it must meet each of the following criteria:

College Culture: 40 percent or more of 2023 graduates took at least one AP exam during high school. Of the 388 CHS graduates in 2023, 254 – or 65 percent ­– took at least one AP exam while they were in high school.

College Credit: 25 percent or more of 2023 graduates scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam during high school. Of the 388 CHS graduates in 2023, 205 – or 53 percent – scored a three or higher on at least one AP exam.

College Optimization: 2 percent or more of 2023 graduates took five or more AP exams during high school, with at least one of those exams having been taken in 9th or 10th grade.

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