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Coursetaking Patterns in Science at Grade 12

A rigorous high school curriculum provides students with more options for postsecondary education, training, and employment. For that reason, many states have increased the number of courses required for high school graduation, especially in mathematics and science, as a part of their educational reform efforts.

  • The 2005 science results show that twelfth-graders who took biology, chemistry, and physics scored higher than students who took biology and chemistry, and both groups scored higher than those who took just biology or other science courses. 
  • The percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander students taking biology, chemistry, and physics (45 percent) was greater than the percentage of White students taking the same curriculum (31 percent), which in turn was greater than the percentage of Black and Hispanic students taking all three courses (22 percent and 25 percent, respectively).
Average twelfth-grade NAEP science scores, by coursetaking

Average scale scores in science, by coursetaking, grade 12: 2000 and 2005

* Significantly different from 2005.
NOTE: View complete data with standard errors for all students at grade 12
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2000 and 2005 Science Assessments.

Learn more about the science assessment on the NAEP website.

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