AP testing change, for the better: New law brings college credit for 3s on tests

High School Advanced Placement (AP) students may be able to earn more college credit with a bill signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. The bill requires many Texas universities and colleges to accept a score of a 3 on the five-point scale to award credit.

In the past many colleges had different required scores in different classes to receive credit. For past AP English III students like senior Stephanie Segovia, who received a 3 on her AP III test, the change will definitely be helpful.”I was satisfied with a 3 because I knew that English wasn’t my strongest subject but I love English, so I knew that a 3 was sufficient for me,” she said. “So I was pretty happy.”

However, some Texas universities argue that a 3, which is equivalent to B­, C+ or C, is not sufficient enough to understand college level material in later classes of the subject.

Mellanie Patterson, Student Testing Services coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Daily Texan, “If they are scoring a 1 or 3, in some instances, they are not very prepared.”

Segovia was not personally worried about the acceptance of credit with a score of 3, knowing that her planned college accepted that score. However, she does believe the bill will make things easier for other students who make a 3 or above.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for [students] to actually earn a college credit because they work so hard in the class. Sometimes they just cannot get above a 3, so that should be good enough.”

AP U.S. History teacher Jack Bell agrees that taking an AP class and receiving a score of 3 is adequate enough to receive credit because it shows that you can take on a college level class.

A growing trend in Kerr has been Dual Credit classes that offer many of the required classes for juniors and seniors. In Dual Credit the material and teaching is entirely online and there is no testing that determines the acceptance of the credit by colleges and universities. Junior Joanna Aguilar partly took dual credit in history because of the AP test.

“You don’t get the college credit just by passing the [AP] class. It’s better to take dual credit because you’ll get the credit in the class, most of the time.”

For plenty of current AP students preparing to take the AP tests next year, the news of the bill comes with a sigh of relief.APUSH students Remi Muse and Sidra Khan are worried about the AP test, but believe that AP classes will prepare them for college more than Dual Credit classes.

“I felt that Dual Credit wouldn’t teach me anything for college. I also wanted to challenge myself since I wasn’t planning on taking any other AP classes,” Muse said. AP classes can be very challenging, yet very rewarding when you finish and realize the amount of skills obtained from the countless hours of PAKs and essays. The appeal of AP classes is not just about the higher grade point average or the credit for some students.

“The [PAK] tests in APUSH are hard,” Khan said. “so the AP test must be hard, but at least I’ll be prepared for college.”