Utah ranked 11th in the nation for its percentage of high school students who passed Advanced Placement exams last year down one spot from the year before.
In all, about 22.2 percent of Utah's Class of 2012 passed AP exams, according to a report released Wednesday by the College Board. That's up from 20.7 percent among the Class of 2011 and up from 18.5 percent in 2002.
"These results show that more Utah students are better preparing themselves for college and careers," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove in a news release, "and that's good news for those students and for our collective future."
Students who earn scores of 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams may often earn college credit for their efforts.
Though a larger percentage of graduating students took and passed AP exams in Utah last year, the state's national ranking still fell from 10th to 11th.
The College Board also on Wednesday named the Alpine, Canyons, Davis, Granite, Nebo and Wasatch school districts to the AP Honor Roll for improved participation and performance on AP tests for three years in a row. This is the second consecutive year that Davis and Nebo have been named to the honor roll.
According to data released in September by the College Board, about 11 percent more Utah students took AP exams last year and passed those exams at a rate of about 68 percent about the same passage rate as the year before.
Gaps remained between the achievement and participation of some ethnic groups, with Latinos, for example, underrepresented among test takers in Utah, according to the data. Also the passage rate among Latino students lagged behind that of white students, 53 percent compared with about 70 percent.
Mexican-Amercian students in Utah, however, saw the largest jump in test taking last school year, with nearly 24 percent more taking the exams than the year before. In fact, more students from most ethnic groups took the exams in Utah.