Skip to main content

College Board AP Data

The College Board recently released data on its AP Exams.  I've downloaded several workbooks already, and of the one I've dug into, I've only been able to get through two worksheets.  The data presentation is clunky (please, agencies, provide un-pivoted data without merged cells and totals and all that stuff, if not by itself, then as a companion), but it reveals some interesting patterns.

Well, I think so.

I've visualized it in five views: The source of the data is here, in case you want to download it yourself.

View 1, Totals (using the tabs across the top) is just totals: Use the controls to show males or females, or certain scores, or certain exams.  I think it's very compelling, especially if you look at the high scores the College Board claim about AP opening access to selective institutions.

View 2, Scores by Ethnicity and Exam, shows score distributions of the four largest ethnic groups.  Filter by a single exam if you'd like.

View 3, 100% Stacked Bars, shows the same data, presented by ethnicity.  Again, filter to a test if you'd like.

View 4, Mean Scores by Ethnicity and Exam, arrays all tests, and breaks out mean scores (yes, I know you shouldn't take averages of string variables.  So sue me).  Use the highlighter if you'd like to make any of the groups stand out visually, and filter by gender if you'd like.

View 5, Mean Scores by Gender and Exam, shows the differences between males and females. Filter to a single ethnicity if you'd like.

Tell me what you see.  Does this change your perspective on the College Board claims, or does it strengthen them?  Does it help you make up your mind?

I'd love to hear.

Reminder: I appreciate support for webhosting and other costs associated with creating Higher Ed Data Stories.  You can support these efforts here.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Baccalaureate origins of doctoral recipients

Here's a little data for you: 61 years of it, to be precise.  The National Science Foundation publishes its data on US doctoral recipients sliced a variety of ways, including some non-restricted public use files that are aggregated at a high level to protect privacy. The interface is a little quirky, and if you're doing large sets, you need to break it into pieces (this was three extracts of about 20 years each), but it may be worth your time to dive in. I merged the data set with my mega table of IPEDS data, which allows you to look at institutions on a more granular level:  It's not surprising to find that University of Washington graduates have earned more degrees than graduates of Whitman College, for instance.  So, you can filter the data by Carnegie type, region or state, or control, for instance; or you can look at all 61 years, or any range of years between 1958 and 2018 and combine it with broad or specific academic fields using the controls. High school and indep

The Highly Rejective Colleges

If you're not following Akil Bello on Twitter, you should be.  His timeline is filled with great insights about standardized testing, and he takes great effort to point out racism (both subtle and not-so-subtle) in higher education, all while throwing in references to the Knicks and his daughter Enid, making the experience interesting, compelling, and sometimes, fun. Recently, he created the term " highly rejective colleges " as a more apt description for what are otherwise called "highly selective colleges."  As I've said before, a college that admits 15% of applicants really has a rejections office, not an admissions office.  The term appears to have taken off on Twitter, and I hope it will stick. So I took a look at the highly rejectives (really, that's all I'm going to call them from now on) and found some interesting patterns in the data. Take a look:  The 1,132 four-year, private colleges and universities with admissions data in IPEDS are incl

So you think you're going back to the SAT and ACT?

Now that almost every university in the nation has gone test-optional for the 2021 cycle out of necessity, a nagging question remains: How many will go back to requiring tests as soon as it's possible?  No one knows, but some of the announcements some colleges made sounded like the kid who only ate his green beans to get his screen time: They did it, but they sure were not happy about it.  So we have some suspicions about the usual suspects. I don't object to colleges requiring tests, of course, even though I think they're not very helpful, intrinsically biased against certain groups, and a tool of the vain.  You be you, though, and don't let me stop you. However, there is a wild card in all of this: The recent court ruling prohibiting the University of California system from even using--let alone requiring--the SAT or ACT in admissions decisions next fall.  If you remember, the Cal State system had already decided to go test blind, and of course community colleges in