America’s Most Challenging High Schools

America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that’s a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates.

Signature School (Evansville, Ind.)

Students in a lab at the Signature School, a charter school in Evansville, Ind., that ranked in the Top 10 on this year's list. (Photo by Terry W. Hughes/Courtesy of the Signature School)

National Rankings

Get Challenge Index scores for more than 2,300 public and private high schools nationwide, as ranked by The Post’s Jay Mathews.

1. BASIS Oro Valley
2. BASIS Chandler
3. Talented and Gifted
4. Science/Engineering Magnet
5. Accelerated Elementary and Secondary
View National List
H.B. Woodlawn (Arlington, Va.)

Students rush by between classes at the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Arlington, Va., which is the top local school on this year's list. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

D.C. Area Rankings

See Challenge Index scores for more than 170 Washington-area public and private high schools, as ranked by The Post’s Jay Mathews.

1. H-B Woodlawn
2. School Without Walls
3. Washington International School (P)
4. Saint Anselm's Abbey (P)
5. Poolesville
View Local List

Inside The Challenge

My 2015 list

Many U.S. schools still resist challenging all their students.

Contact the Post

Administrators with questions about their school's data can