Minnesota education officials say more high school students are taking Advanced Placement tests, and getting high enough scores to qualify for college credit.
Students who score at least a 3 out of 5 on AP tests are usually eligible to earn college credit. New numbers show that 64 percent of the tests taken this year had passing scores.
About 29,000 Minnesota students took nearly 47,000 AP tests.
Education Commissioner Alice Seagren says that's an 8 percent jump over last year.
"Our whole focus is on college and career readiness, and Advanced Placement is just another opportunity and vehicle for students to be prepared for college and a career," she said.
Both the number of black students and their scores went up more than 20 percent, though they still only represent about 3-percent of all test takers.
Seagren says it's still a challenge to get some students to take AP classes.
"Maybe they don't have the interest in going into more challenging courses; they don't want to work as hard, maybe sometimes," said Seagren. "What we're trying to do is encourage students to say this would really enhance your education."
This is the fifth straight year there's been an increase in both AP test scores and the number of students taking the test.