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Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Christopher Avery
Roy E. Larsen Professor of Public Policy
phone: (617)496-4063
fax: (617)496-5960
Giving College Credit Where It Is Due: Advanced Placement Exam Scores and College Outcomes
Smith, Jonathan, Michael Hurwitz, and Christopher Avery. "Giving College Credit Where It Is Due: Advanced Placement Exam Scores and College Outcomes." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP15-021, 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.
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