The College Board announced Tuesday that the Maryland class of 2013 led the nation in high scoring on Advanced Placement tests.
The New York-based organization said in a report that 29.1 percent of last year's Maryland public high school graduates scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam. That compares with a national rate of 20.1 percent. A score of 3 or higher is considered a successful test result.
Maryland also made progress toward eliminating the gap in AP program participation between white and black students, the most underrepresented group in AP classrooms, the report said.
In AP programs, college faculty members work with secondary school teachers to help students demonstrate that they are ready for the challenge of higher education.
Gov. Martin O'Malley noted it was the eighth straight year the state led the nation in success on the Advanced Placement exam.
"Strengthening and growing the middle class is the North Star of everything we do as an administration," O'Malley said. "And because there is no greater ladder to opportunity than education, we've made the better choice to invest in our children — today's results are another indication that our choices are paying off."