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Four Years Later: A Longitudinal Study of Advanced Placement Students in College

Morris, Margaret M.; Willingham, Warren W.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-85-46B, CBR-86-02
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Advanced Placement Examinations, College Students, Grade Prediction, Longitudinal Studies, Personal Qualities Project, Test Validity


The Advanced Placement (AP) Program provides a means whereby students can take college-level work in secondary school, sit for standard end-of-course examinations, and, if successful, be placed forward with college credit. Using data from the Personal Qualities Project, this study examined various aspects of the experience and success of 1,115 students through four years. AP students, when compared with non-AP students matched on six preadmissions measures, were found to have better academic records, and to be more successful overall. This pattern was especially characteristic of students with AP grades of 3 or higher-a result that tends to validate the program's recommendation that colleges award credit for grades of 3 to 5. It was also found that students taking an AP Examination in a given subject area were more likely to take college coursework in that area than students who had not done so. (52pp.)

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