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Bobcats could receive more credit from AP tests

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Students across the state of Texas have been given a greater opportunity to receive college credit hours thanks to the passage of House Bill 1992, which will go into effect next fall.

HB 1992 was passed in the 84th Texas Legislature last year. The legislation mandates that every public college and university in Texas must accept a minimum score of a three on any Advanced Placement test to receive college credit.

In order to ensure that Bobcats gain full benefit from the legislation this spring, Texas State officials have already begun to implement the law.

“The credit will be automatically gained and shown on their transcripts if the student’s test scores were a minimum of three on the advanced placement tests,” said Daniel Brown, Dean of University College and director of the PACE Center. “It’s important that students talk to their academic advisors in case they are having trouble not receiving the credit or it not reflecting on their transcript.”

Students affected by HB 1992 were notified via email. Those who came to Texas State with an AP score of three but did not receive credit initially have been given credit, which is now reflected on their transcripts.

Most of the tests students are now receiving credit for are world history, European history, biology and music theory exams. This is because the university only accepted higher scores on these exams.

Refunds will not be given out to students who have already taken the courses they did not initially receive credit for.

Tiara Batiste, animal science freshman, was affected by the new legislation.

Batiste received a score of three on her AP biology exam. However, HB 1992 will not benefit her because she took the course last fall.

“If the law was passed in summer of 2015, then (the school should have) notified us about the new law before we even started our first semester,” Batiste said. “If that was the case then I wouldn’t have wasted my money and time taking Bio 1331.”

Batiste was able to be exempt from taking Bio 1330 since she scored a three on her test. However, to be exempt from other biology courses such as Bio 1331, 1130, and 1131 she needed a score of four.

Sandra West Moody, biology and science education associate professor, sees HB 1992 as a disadvantage to students who are majoring in the course that they become exempt from.

Moody agrees with Brown that the legislation is a good solution for students who want to save time and money. However, she believes that it comes with a cost.

She said students who receive credit for the AP test and come to Texas State at a sophomore level will not receive the background information freshman biology majors get.

“The reason why many colleges came up with the minimum score of a 4 was because they found that students who came in with an AP score of three weren’t adequately prepared and they did struggle with the upper level courses,” West said.

He said research has been done at the university to see the correlation between taking the subsequent courses after receiving credit compared to taking the subsequent courses without AP credit, and they have had the same effect.

“We’re going to repeat the analysis we’ve done every two years and then discuss solutions with professors on what to do if we see that they (students) are not doing well in their courses,” Brown said.