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.
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.