Test scores for SATs, TAKS expire after three years
Published: Friday, September 14, 2007
Updated: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 14:09
Students who have been placed into college-level course work because of their SAT scores should be aware that the test scores do expire.
One student who has had to learn that the hard way is photography sophomore Chris Castillo.
Castillo, a 2002 graduate of Holmes High School, took the SAT his junior year and did well enough in the math portion to place him into college algebra.
Castillo tried to register for Math 1314, College Algebra, for fall 2006 but was prevented from registering for that level of math because of a hold on his records.
After calling the college to see why he couldn't register for the class, he learned the hold was because of an expired SAT score.
"I had no idea that SAT scores expired," Castillo said.
Adolph Lopez III, assessment center director, said SAT scores expire after three years because college officials and faculty members decided that after that period of time, the scores no longer accurately reflect a student's ability to perform at the college level.
"After three years, if you don't use it, you lose it," Lopez said.
The scores also expire under the rules of the Texas Success Initiative program.
The program, enacted by the Texas Legislature, requires students to be assessed prior to starting college to see if they are ready to perform at the freshman level.
Students who have taken the SAT and scored a minimum of 500 on both the verbal and math tests or have taken the ACT and scored a minimum of 19 on both the English and math tests would be exempt from the state mandatory assessment.
Students also can be exempt if they scored a 2,200 in the math and English language arts portions of the 11th grade exit level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test and received a writing subsection score of 3.
According to the program, the scores may not be older than three years.
Students whose scores have expired are required to take the Accuplacer or the Texas Higher Education Assessment Test to be placed back into college level course work.
Castillo chose to take the Accuplacer because at $15, it was the quickest and cheapest remedy, he said.
Because it had been a while since high school math, Castillo didn't do very well.
His scores from the Accuplacer placed him in Math 0301, Introduction to Algebra.
Friends advised him to study for the test and retake it, but he refused.
"It seemed like a lot of work," Castillo said.
This semester, Castillo is taking Math 0303, Intermediate Algebra.
In a way, Castillo is glad to have been required to take the remedial classes but is still frustrated by the inconvenience of not being able to get out of this college more quickly and of never having been warned his scores could expire.
"No college counselor ever told me, 'Be sure to enroll into college algebra right away! Don't wait! You'll have to take remedial courses if you can't place into the same level after your SAT scores expire in so and so many years,'" Castillo said.