Beginning May 1, UT will grant credit for Advanced Placement test scores of three and higher in accordance with House Bill 1992, a law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 requiring public colleges and universities in the state to award credit for these scores across the board.
“There are a lot of students who have earned threes on AP exams...that now may have the option of claiming credit,” Student Testing Services adviser Maria Zoller. “Depending on the student, it might mean having a lighter course load or being closer to graduation. It has the potential to save them time and money.”
Before the passage of this law, credit thresholds were determined solely at the discretion of the academic departments under which the courses fell — departments decided both which scores earned credit and which course the credit corresponded with. Now, the individual departments may only decide which course credits will be granted for each score.
The effect of HB 1992 varies by AP exam. For tests that were previously only eligible for credit with scores of four or five, credit will be granted for lower scores. For tests for which credit is already being granted for scores of three, nothing may change.
The new policy will apply to any petitions to claim credit on or after May 1, regardless of when the petitioning student first enrolled at UT.
Mathematics freshman Maria Krychniak said the rigor of AP courses and exams makes students deserving of college credit, but the new legislation may also come with disadvantages.
“Lowering the standard gives people the impression that they don’t have to work as hard in high school to gain credit,” Krychniak said.
Zoller said greater benefits still exist for students with higher scores.
“It’s still somewhat exclusive in that getting a score of a four or a five will allow students, in most cases at least, to claim either more credit or a higher level of credit,” Zoller said.
Mathematics sophomore Laura Jbeily said a three on an AP exam is not an indication that a student has not learned the material for the class, and awarding credit for these scores will allow students to spend their time at the University more productively.
“I think this is good because it gives students more chances to take other classes instead of retaking courses just to get credit,” Jbeily said.