The number of Texas high school graduates passing advanced placement exams has improved to just below the national average.
Some 18.5 percent of the class of 2013 earned a 3 or above, considered passing, on at least one AP exam.
A report released Tuesday by The College Board, which administers AP tests, shows that's 19th best nationwide. The national average is 20.1 percent.
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In all, 35.9 percent of high school graduates took an AP exam -- up from 34.4 percent the previous year and above 2013's national average of 33.2 percent.
About half of all Texas AP exam-takers were from low-income families, and 43.9 percent scored a 3 or better.
Back in 2003, just 20.4 percent of Texas high school graduates took AP exams, and 11.9 percent scored a 3-plus.