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AP Tests Increasing, Huge Gains in Mankato Schools

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MANKATO, Minn. -

A recent study of American students found that AP courses are becoming more and more popular,
 
Minnesota was just above the national average, with 19.7% of high school seniors receiving college credit through Advanced Placement courses.

Mankato schools, meanwhile, are way above those numbers, earning them a place on the College Board's AP Honor Roll.
 
Mankato Area Schools Curriculum Coordinator Cindy Amoroso says,  "Helping students understand that the research shows students who take AP course work - even if they don't score a 3 or better and get that college credit on the AP exam - just taking the course itself has shown students having higher success post-secondary."

More than 900 students took AP classes in Mankato this year, up from just 277 in 2010. More than 70 percent of those students earn college credit in the process.

Administrators say those very high numbers are a result of a culture of achievement, with friends playing a big role in students taking on the tougher AP classes.

And they've managed to reach out to underserved populations as well.

Amoroso says, "Three years ago, we had 22 tests taken by our students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Last year we had 125 by that same population, and they're average score on that exam was higher."