Florida officials say more high-school students are taking Advanced Placement courses, but just 4 in 10 students passed the exams in 2012. The surge in participation is due largely to incentives offered by the state, as well as a partnership with the College Board and the inclusion of AP in the high-school grade formula. However, some observers say the benefits of AP go beyond the exams, giving students valuable skills in critical thinking and the demands of college-level work.

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