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Participation in A.P. Examinations Increasing for Minorities, Girls

The percentage of minority and female students taking Advanced Placement Examinations has increased greatly over the past five years, according to a new report from the College Board.

The board, which administers the national testing program, reports that minority participation in the ap program has increased 159 percent since 1985.

Of those students who indicated their race, 24 percent of the 305,769 ap candidates in 1990 were minorities, an increase of 8 percent since 1985, the report said. Hispanics tripled their participation rate over the past five years, with 19,830 taking an ap test in 1990.

Nationwide, the number of Advanced Placement science and mathematics exams taken by girls is up 73 percent since 1985, the board reported. A gender gap in these fields still exists, however; 99,000 boys, but only 61,406 girls, took the math and science tests in 1990.

The Advanced Placement program consists of a curriculum of 29 course descriptions and examinations that are similar to introductory college courses; many colleges offer credit for qualifying ap grades. The College Board provides curricular outlines, teacher workshops, and syllabuses to schools.

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