Incremental growth continued for most AP math and science courses in Florida in 2016, according to statistics released by the College Board.
While the rapid growth in AP Computer Science in Florida slowed considerably, AP Biology continued to grow more quickly in the state than other AP math and science courses.
The significant decline in AP Physics 1 exam takers in Florida was probably a result of the low pass rate on the exam in 2015, its first year. The exam was designed to drive changes in the way that high school physics is taught, and in 2015 only 38% of AP Physics 1 exam takers nationwide earned scores of 3 or higher, which is considered passing. That national pass rate did not increase this year.
Florida’s AP Physics 2 numbers of exam takers and passers grew as students who took AP Physics 1 in 2015 moved on to the second course in the sequence.
AP Physics 1 and 2 are algebra-based courses intended to earn students credit for the two-semester physics sequence usually taken by life science majors.
The two AP Physics C courses are calculus-based and are intended to provide credit for the two-semester physics sequence taken by majors in engineering, math, computer science and the physical sciences.