Young women set records in computer science exams, again!

In 2020, female students accounted for 31% of all AP CS test-takers.

The greatest increase: young women from underrepresented groups

Female students from underrepresented groups showed the largest increase in growth, with exams taken by that group increasing by over 18% from the previous year (vs. 13% overall growth in the number of exams taken by all students)!

  • Black female students — from 3,477 students (2.19% of all CS exams) to 4,090 students (2.28% of all CS exams)
  • Hispanic/Latina female students — from 8,183 students (5.16% of all CS exams) to 9,558 students (5.33% of all CS exams)
  • Native American/Alaskan female students — from 78 students (0.05% of all CS exams) to 203 students (0.11% of all CS exams)
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander female students — from 50 students (0.03% of all CS exams) to 69 students (0.04% of all CS exams)

More exciting findings

Big gains by students of both genders from indigenous groups:

  • Exams taken by Native American/Alaskan students increased (from 251 exams or 0.22% of all exams to 636 exams and 0.46% of all CS exams). Teachers/advocates did a great job reaching these students this year!
  • Exams taken by Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students increased as well (from 145 exams and 0.136% to 190 and 0.140% of all CS exams).
  • AP CS Principles exam results have even better diversity than the national averages: 36% of AP CS Principles test-takers were female [compared to the 33.9% of all AP CSP test-takers].
  • 50% of all URG students in AP CS Principles classes are students.

Good news: AP CS Principles sparks greater interest in CS

New research shows students who take AP CS Principles are 3 times more likely to major in computer science, and also more likely to study AP CS A (Java). And among women and students of color, the ratio is even greater.

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We have a long long way to go

All of these achievements are due to a broad CS community full of partners, advocates, legislators and countless others who champion this work and make our achievements possible. And still, despite the progress, computer science in K-12 is quite far from balanced representation. We still have so far to go, but each year the new data shows that things are headed in the right direction.



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