AUGUSTA — Maine ranked 12th in the nation for the percentage of high school students in the class of 2010 who had at least one successful Advanced Placement experience, the Maine Department of Education announced today.

Nearly one in five Maine high school seniors had taken a college-level course and scored at least a 3 out of 5 points on an AP exam, which is eligible for credit at many colleges and universities, the College Board reported today.

Maine had a higher percentage of students participating in AP courses than the national average, and a higher percentage of students scoring well on the AP exams.

Maine also showed a significant increase in the percentage of students scoring well on an AP exam. Maine’s rate increased by 4.8 percent over five years. Only three other states had a higher rate.

Among 33 possible subjects, the most popular AP courses for Maine’s class of 2010 were U.S. history, English literature and composition, English language and composition, calculus and biology.