The number of Iowa high school students taking tests to try and get college credit or into more advanced college classes increased last year. The director of the Iowa Department of Education, Judy Jeffrey, says nearly 7,800 Iowa students took the Advanced Placement or A-P tests last year — double the number of 10 years ago.

Jeffrey says high school students are understanding the need to prepare themselves for success in college, so more are taking A-P courses. She says its a trend not only in Iowa but across the nation. Jeffrey says the students that took the tests did very well. Jeffrey says the Iowa students that took the tests scored and average of 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.

That’s above the national average of 2.85. She says a score of 3, 4 or 5, is normally what a college looks at in awarding a high school student credit toward a course in college. Jeffrey says there’s been more emphasis on letting students get college credit while still in high school.

She says more and more high schools are offering A-P courses and many now offer the A-P courses on-line, which she says has helped increase the numbers. Jeffrey says the economy has had some impact, but overall parents and students are finding it’s a benefit to earn college credit now and reduce the time and cost in college.