Montgomery County Public Schools graduates last year scored higher than their peers across the state and the nation on Advanced Placement exams.

The school system on Friday reported that about 52 percent of MCPS students who took the exam achieved a college-ready score of 3 or higher on at least one exam. Only 31.2 percent of public school graduates in Maryland and 22.8 percent of national graduates scored at that level, according to an MCPS press release.

“We should be proud that our students are outperforming their peers across the state and the nation, but we also know there is more work left to be done to make sure that all students are prepared for success after high school,” Superintendent Jack Smith said in the release.

The county’s public school students also participated in the testing at a higher rate than graduates elsewhere in the state. More than 7,000 high school seniors, or about two-thirds of MCPS graduates in 2017, took at least one of the AP exams last year, compared to about half of Maryland’s public school graduates, the news release stated. Across the nation, about 38 percent of high school seniors participated in the AP testing.

African-American and Latino students made up about 47 percent of the graduating class for 2017 but only accounted for about 35 percent of the AP test-takers from Montgomery County Public Schools, the release stated.

About 28 percent of black students from MCPS who took the test attained a college-ready score on at least one test, compared to the national rate of 6.7 percent for African-American graduates. The college-ready rate among Latino students of MCPS was 35 percent, exceeding the nationwide rate of about 23 percent.

MCPS also announced that 17 of 25 high schools saw an increase in the percentage of black students who achieved a college-ready score. Eight high schools experienced a rise in the percentage of Latino graduates who met this mark.

The school system also announced that about 9.3 percent of MCPS graduates took at least one International Baccalaureate exam last year, compared to 7.8 percent in 2015. Student performance is also improving, with the share of graduates who earned at least one IB score of 4 or higher increasing by about 1 percentage point, the release stated.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at