The Iowa AP Index

The Top 50 AP Schools In Iowa

About the Iowa AP Index

Calculating the AP Index

Every public and nonpublic high school in Iowa accredited by the state Department of Education and that administered AP exams in May 2021 was invited to participate in the 2022 AP Index. Schools had the opportunity to decline participating in the 2022 AP Index.

The Iowa AP Index for a given high school is the ratio of AP exams taken by its students (any grade) divided by the number of its graduating seniors.

Number of AP exams taken
Iowa AP Index =
Number of graduates

The number of AP exams administered per school and number of graduating seniors per school were provided by the Iowa Department of Education or the school. The number of graduates for a high school, as reported by the Iowa Department of Education, includes all students who received a diploma in the 2020-2021 school year from the attending building.

For reference, an AP Index of 1.00 means that the number of AP exams for that school equals the number of graduates. A high AP Index is a reflection that a school has developed a culture that is supportive of student participation in AP courses and exams. The Iowa AP Index provides a fair comparison of AP opportunity across school size.

The 2022 Iowa AP Index is based on the AP exams taken in May 2021 and school graduates in May/June 2021. 217 schools had at least one student take an AP exam in 2021.

This included 187 public schools and 30 nonpublic schools.

The Iowa AP Index for all public high schools in Iowa

We calculated a 2022 AP Index score for all the accredited public schools in Iowa based on all exams taken by Iowa public school students in 2021 and 2021 Iowa public school graduating seniors.

2022 Iowa AP Index
for all Public
High Schools in Iowa
17,448 Exams Taken
= 0.53
32,658 Graduates

For comparison, the 2019 AP Index for all Iowa accredited public high schools was 0.61. Thus, the 2022 Iowa AP Index for all public schools indicates a slight decrease in AP participation in the state compared to 2021. The overall trend has been increasing from 2005-2019. However, understandably, AP participation has slightly decreased nationally in the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa AP Index also was not published in 2020 and 2021.

Special categories

Magnet schools, Specially Accredited College Preparatory High Schools, non-accredited schools, and home schools are not included in the Iowa AP Index ranking. However, the Belin-Blank Center recognizes magnet schools and Specially Accredited College Preparatory High Schools for providing AP opportunities.

Des Moines Central Academy, a nationally known magnet school, is recognized for the excellent performance of its students. We commend Central Academy for its 2022 Iowa AP Index of 6.25.


From the College Board

AP Central

From the Iowa Department of Education

The Iowa Department of Education’s Education Statistics

Iowa Senior Year Plus program, Iowa Department of Education