Conducting AP Research Studies

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We can help you conduct a study on AP at your own institution.

A validity study correlates student performance on AP Exams with student performance in courses at your institution. With this information, you can determine the appropriate cut scores for placing proficient students into higher-level courses.

Admitted Class Evaluation Service™ (ACES™)

The ACES Placement Validity Study is offered to all colleges for free. It’s also confidential — your data is analyzed by an application, and College Board staff does not see the data or results. Data analysis is provided only to you.

ACES studies analyze the AP scores, other exam scores and final grades of your students in one or more related courses. You may analyze up to five separate courses in your study; choose a single predictor (any measurement that helps to determine student performance) or up to five predictors for a single course. Your final ACES report will include graphics and interpretive text that highlight key findings.

Faculty members or administrators — anyone with access to data on student performance — can request an ACES study.

Learn more about ACES or contact the AP Program.

Data Usage and Sharing

States, school systems and higher education institutions may request student-level AP data from us by entering into a data usage or data sharing agreement. This data can be used in state longitudinal data systems (SLDS) as a college readiness metric — one of 12 required data elements defined in the America COMPETES Act. The data can also be used to conduct your own studies of AP validity.

A data usage agreement provides College Board data as a service to a state, system or institution. A data sharing agreement provides College Board data to a state, system or institution, and that entity provides student-level data to the College Board for research purposes.

Requests for data must conform to the College Board Guidelines for the Release of Data. After reviewing the guidelines, we invite you to submit a request for data.