Gender Imbalance: Participation by Women on the 2011 AP CS Exam
Each year, the College Board provides state-by-state statistics for each Advanced Placement (AP) exam, broken down by various demographics. The numbers of women taking the
AP Computer Science exam in 2011 are illustrative of the continuing gender imbalance in computing. The table linked below organizes the 50 states and District of Columbia
according to the percentage of AP CS exam takers who were women. The percentages of women across all AP exams are also listed for comparison, as well as the overall percentage
of exams that AP CS constitutes for each state.
While nearly 55% of all AP exam takers are women, the percentage for AP Computer Science is much lower, only 19%, with a median percentage across all states of 15.4%. It is
interesting to note that two states, Texas and California, account for more than 31% of all AP CS exams and both have higher than average participation by women (24% and 21%, respectively).
If the numbers from these two states are omitted, the remaining percentage of AP CS participation by women for the rest of the country is 17.3%.
The numbers in this table are collected from the College Board state-by-state data files, located here
To download the Table (PDF), click here.
To download the Table (Excel), click here.
Comparing the State Rates of APCS Participation & Enrollment by Race
April 29, 2011
This analysis compares the racial enrollment rates of high school students to the racial participation rates of students in the Advanced Placement Computer
Science Test. For each state, the percentage of enrollment and percentage of APCS participation for each of the racial groups is provided in Table 1. The
"Participation Rate" is a ratio to compare the rate of participation in APCS as compared to the enrollment rate. A rate of "1" means that the same ratio
of students are represented in APCS as in the general high school enrollment, a number less than than "1" represents an under-enrollment in APCS, and a
number greater than "1" denotes an overrepresentation of students in the APCS course.
Table 2 summarizes this information for underrepresented students of color, including American Indians, African Americans, and Latinos.
The states are listed in an increasing order to show the lowest to highest participation rates of students of color in APCS as compared to school enrollment.
Thus, this analysis highlights that Ohio has the worst participation rate of students of color (.13), while Arkansas has the highest rate of students of
The enrollment data is from the 2008-09 school year and provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics, the most recent year available. The
APCS participation data is provided by the College Board and is based on the spring 2010 examination. Only states with more than 100 APCS exam-takers are
included in this analysis.
To download the APCS Table, click here.
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