<h1>More West Virginia public school students are taking college-level Advanced Placement (AP) courses and earning credit than ever before, according to a national report released today. Nearly 12,000 students in the graduating class of 2016 took an AP exam and 10.9 percent scored a 3 or higher, resulting in earned college credit.<\/h1>\r\nThe annual report, published by the College Board, shows that in the past five years West Virginia has seen an increase in the percentage of graduates earning a 3 or higher on an AP exam by 2.3 percent. English language and composition and United States history are the most common AP courses taken by West Virginia students.\r\n\r\n\u201cI applaud our students who choose to participate in advanced coursework before college,\u201d said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano. \u201cRigorous AP courses provide our students with a strong foundation as they prepare for college and the 21st century world of work.\u201d\r\n\r\nParticipation in AP courses has continued to increase throughout the last ten years while enrollment in the Mountain State has decreased. During 2015-16 school year, 13 counties had a participation rate of 30 percent or higher and Monongalia county saw the highest rate of success among students with more than 30 percent scoring a 3 or higher.\r\n\r\nWest Virginia students who cannot afford the AP testing fee receive assistance through the \u201cAP Test Fee Waiver Grant program\u201d through the U.S. Department of Education. In 2016, 1,308 qualifying students received assistance to take 2,001 AP exams. Students who qualified paid $15 per exam instead of the typical cost of $93 per exam.