Late last week, the College Board released student scores for the 2011-2012 academic year’s Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Twelve of my AP Calculus AB students took the AP exam. In the prior academic year, 2010-2011, forty students took the exam under a different teacher. The number of students who took the exam varied greatly between the two years given the misalignment in expectations between last fall’s incoming students and myself; those students requested the course expecting it to be taught by the same teacher as the prior year. Since those horses have left the barn, I expect many more students to take the exam this coming academic year, which spans 2012-2013.
As the data in the following two tables reveal, the mean score between years improved significantly. I am satisfied with these results given the rough start to the year. I believe the mean would have been lower had more students taken the exam. Hence, for the next few years, I expect the mean to be closer to a 2.5. Once we align the mathematics curriculum and instruction throughout our department, expanding the content focus on trigonometry and the process focus on problem solving, I expect the mean to return closer to a 3.0.
As the two following tables show, despite the small sample size, the grouped distribution of 5-4-3 scores and 2-1 scores for my students’ closely matches those of the entire population of students in the US who took the exam. 
In fact, when comparing to scores from our state, the grouped percentages match exactly, while the mean score for my students exceeded that for all students in California. My students should be proud of themselves. I know I am proud of them.
While most of this post focused on test scores, distributions, and means, the most meaningful parameter is whether a student benefited from taking the class. In that regard, I feel strongly that my students received a college-level education in calculus, learning, and mathematical thinking. I look forward to hearing from them as they conquer new frontiers. One of them already provided the following reply to a congratulatory email I sent upon learning of their 5 out of 5 score on the AP exam.
I am very proud of the score I received and honored to be your student. Your class helped broaden my perspectives and expand my horizons. Best of wishes to you and your students next year!
 The national population data comes from 2011 exam scores since the 2012 scores are not currently available. While the scores vary slightly from year to year, they do not differ significantly. Once 2012 data are available, I will update this post.
 AP Exam scores are reported on a 5-point scale as follows:
5 Extremely well qualified*
4 Well qualified*
2 Possibly qualified*
1 No recommendation**
* Qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement
** No recommendation to receive college credit or advanced placement