Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Greenville County Schools students increased last year’s passage rate (scores of 3-5) on Advanced Placement (AP) exams by 1.7 percentage points to 61.0%, according to information released today by The College Board. The passage rate for GCS students was higher than both the state (58.0%) and nation (58.0%). Students scoring a three or better (on a five-point scale) on a certified AP exam are eligible to receive college credit at many colleges and universities.

Also, GCS saw a 35 percent increase in the number of students tested on the SAT, from 2,421 in 2018 to 3,271 in 2019. The average score for all Greenville County seniors was 1031 on a 1600-point scale, down from 1089 last year. The national SAT average score decreased from 1049 in 2018 to 1039 in 2019, while the state average score decreased from 1064 in 2018 to 1021 in 2019.

Advanced Placement

AP courses are designed to provide high school students with college-level curricula and feature prominently in Greenville County Schools’ Graduation Plus initiative, which focuses on providing opportunities for students to earn college credit and/or career certification in addition to a South Carolina diploma. 

Last school year, high school students in Greenville County took 7,456 AP exams across 30 different subjects. Of those, 61.0 percent scored a three or better, up from 59.3 percent in 2018. This translates into potential college credit for GCS students in 4,553 courses.  AP course offerings range from Art History and Music Theory to Physics, Calculus, and Biology.

  • Riverside High had the highest AP exam passage rate at 76%. Mauldin High had the second highest AP exam passage rate at 70%.
  • J.L. Mann High Academy had the largest number of students taking AP exam (669) and the largest number of AP exams (1,250).

Advanced Placement students who meet rigorous requirements are also recognized by The College Board as AP Scholars, AP Scholars with Honor, AP Scholars with Distinction, or National AP Scholars based on the number of AP tests taken and the results of those tests. In AP summary reports released today, 1,208 GCS students were recognized for these honors, up from 1,066 last year.


This year was the first year that South Carolina paid for the administration of the SAT test, and the test was administered during the school day. Thus, many more students were provided the opportunity to take the test. Test takers also had the option of taking the test on a Saturday at their own expense. Offering to pay for a college readiness test allows more students the opportunity to take the test.

“The 2019 graduating class results represent a new benchmark, as 850 more seniors (72%) took the SAT over the previous year.  Students may now elect to participate in SAT testing during the school day as part of state testing, in addition to the students who elected to take the test on a Saturday,” said Dr. Jason McCreary, Director of Accountability and Quality Assurance.

Five GCS high schools scored above the national SAT average of 1039 and the state average of 1021.

  • Riverside – 1155
  • JL Mann Academy – 1104
  • Wade Hampton - 1075
  • Eastside – 1061
  • Mauldin – 1056

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