More than 22 percent of California's high school class of 2010 passed at least one advanced placement test by the time they graduated, a rate that exceeds the national average and continues an upward trend, according to a report released Wednesday by The College Board.

About 131,000 of the state's graduating class -- 34 percent -- took at least one AP test during their high school careers, and 85,890 had passed one or more tests with a score of 3 or higher.

Nationally, about 17 percent of last year's seniors passed an AP exam.

Most colleges and universities give college credit to students who score well on the exam, which is offered in 30 subjects. The highest possible score is 5.

The number of low-income students in California who took the exam has increased by 57 percent since 2006, to 45,645. Of that group, 59 percent scored a 3 or higher on at least one test.

California's African-American students fared worse on the exams than their peers. Of those who took an AP exam, 35 percent passed at least one, compared to 62 percent of Latino students and 66 percent of all students, according to The College Board.

District-level data was not released in this report. The California Department of Education expects to post that information later this spring.



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