Giving College Credit Where it is Due: Advanced Placement Exam Scores and College Outcomes

58 Pages Posted: 11 May 2015

See all articles by Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

Georgia State University

Michael Hurwitz

College Board

Christopher Avery

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

We implement a regression discontinuity design using the continuous raw Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores, which are mapped into the observed 1-5 integer scores, for over 4.5 million students. Earning higher AP integer scores positively impacts college completion and subsequent exam taking. Specifically, attaining credit-granting integer scores increases the probability that a student will receive a bachelor’s degree within four years by 1 to 2 percentage points per exam. We also find that receiving a score of 3 over a 2 on junior year AP exams causes students to take between 0.06 and 0.14 more AP exams senior year.

Suggested Citation

Smith, Jonathan and Hurwitz, Michael and Avery, Christopher, Giving College Credit Where it is Due: Advanced Placement Exam Scores and College Outcomes (May 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21147. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2604828

Jonathan Smith (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

GA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/jonathansmithphd/

Michael Hurwitz

College Board ( email )

1919 M Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Christopher Avery

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4063 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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