ROSEVILLE (AP) - The share of Minnesota high school seniors who scored well enough on Advanced Placement tests to earn college credit continues to improve, and now nearly matches the national average.

The Minnesota Education Department released data from the College Board on Wednesday showing 25.4 percent of Minnesota seniors took at least one AP course during the 2009-2010 school year.

Of those, 16.8 percent earned a score of three or higher, which is typically required for college credit. Nationally, 16.9 percent of seniors scored at least a three.

The share of Minnesota seniors earning a three on the test has gone up nearly 5 percent in five years, one of the highest rates of increase in the nation.

The department says 15,354 Minnesota seniors took an AP course last year.

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