Credit by examination is a way to earn college credit without taking a class. If you feel that your facility with one of the languages offered by the Department of Foreign Languages is advanced enough whereby you could take a test to demonstrate that you meet or exceed the proficiency required to pass a particular course level, then credit by examination might be a good option for you. There are two ways by which you may receive foreign language college credit through examination: taking the ACC Challenge Exam or the CLEP. Deciding which one may be best for you will depend largely on your situation.
Course Challenge Exam
In order to be eligible to take a Course Challenge Exam, the applicant must be a current or former ACC student and meet the course prerequisites and institutional enrollment requirements. Students must complete at least one college credit awarding course at ACC before challenge exam results will be recorded on an official transcript. The student may not challenge a course more than once. No student may challenge a course for which she/he is currently enrolled or has received a grade of “A, B, C, D, F, I, W” or AU.
There is a different Course Challenge Exam that has been developed to correspond with each respective level of a course, taking a Course Challenge Exams is similar to taking a final exam for that class. There are Course Challenge Exams available for each of the languages offered in our department: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. For most languages, there are Challenges Exams available through the 4th course level (ex: Spanish 4/SPAN 2312.) If you wish to gain credit for more than one level via the Course Challenge Exam method, you would need to take the exams in succession allowing for processing time between each exam.
You will need to earn an “A” or a “B" on your exam in order to be awarded college-credit for having taken the exam. Credit received by way of the Course Challenge is reflected as a letter grade on your academic transcript, but it is important to note that this letter grade will not be calculated into your overall ACC GPA. However, certain institutions may include this letter grade in their calculations as they evaluate your academic transcript for transfer. As a result, the letter grade may positively impact your candidacy as a transfer student in some instances. If you plan to transfer to another college or university, you should consult that particular institution for more information about their transcript evaluation policies.
Challenge Exams are only administered in the timeframe between the first two weeks and the last two week of a given semester. In other words, you will not be permitted to take a challenge exam during the first two or during the last two weeks of a given semester.
In order to take an ACC Challenge Exam, please follow these procedures:
- Obtain a Course Challenge Form from a campus Admissions and Records Office.
- Obtain the signature of the Department Chair of Foreign Languages. The Department Chair will assign an instructor to grade the exam; you may be required to obtain an instructor's signature as well.
- Return the signed Course Challenge Form to the Admissions and Records Office.
- Pay the fee of $10.00 per credit hour ($40.00 for 1411/1412, $30.00 for 2311/2312).
- Take the exam in a testing center during the appropriate timeframe.
Please feel free to contact the departmental office with any questions you may have about the Challenge Exam guidelines and procedures.
ATTENTION International students may not apply course challenges toward the 12-hour enrollment requirement established by the Department of Homeland Security.
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The College-Level Examination Program® ( CLEP ) gives students the opportunity to receive college-credit by earning qualifying scores on an exam. The CLEP is comprised of a single, 90 minute test that potentially awards college-credit based on well you score. For instance, making a score of "58" on the Spanish CLEP would earn you college credit through the 3rd level at ACC (SPAN 2312.) If you would like to earn as much credit as you can as quickly as possible, then the CLEP may be the right method of credit by examination for you. Currently there are foreign languages CLEP Tests available for French, German, and Spanish.
Credit received via the CLEP will be reflected as "credit received" on your official ACC transcript; "credit received" has no impact on your ACC GPA. Please note that although ACC accepts the CLEP Test for foreign language college-credit, it is advisable that transfer students contact the college or university they plan to transfer to determine if their CLEP scores are accepted and if so, what the course equivalency may be for that particular college or university. Please refer to the chart below for CLEP score course equivalency at Austin Community College.
ACC’s Business Assessment Center, 512.223.7769, is one of the authorized CLEP Test administration centers located in Austin. Please contact the Business Assessment Center directly or visit their website for the most up-to-date information regarding what days and times are available for you to schedule an appointment to take the CLEP. You should also call or visit their website for the most up-to-date information regarding CLEP Test requirements including fees, identification, and supplies.
For more detailed information about the College-Level Examination Program, the CLEP Test, or to find other authorized CLEP testing centers near you, please go to the College Board CLEP website
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