Record numbers of Arizona high school students are taking advanced placement exams this year in the hopes of earning college credit in subjects as diverse as world history, Latin and biology.The 21,000 students taking the tests are nearly double the number who took such tests five years ago. Education experts say the number is on the rise in the state because of rising college costs and a push to make high school curriculum stronger.The state stacks up poorly, however, when compared nationally with the number of high schools where advanced placement courses are available, and the percentage of minorities who take advanced placement exams. Students take the courses before taking the test.Like many states, Arizona has so far failed to eliminate the gap among Latinos, Americans Indians and African-Americans, according to a recent national study, although efforts are under way to change this. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.