Challenge Exam

The Department of Foreign Languages offers a Challenge Exam to native and heritage speakers and writers of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Students can elect to test for a total of 6 credits.

This exam is not the same thing as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam given through the College Board. The Department of Foreign Languages does not recognize CLEP credits.

The Challenge Exam is offered once a year, in November. The Challenge Exam for Spanish will be offered in both November 2020 and February 2021. Contact if you are interested in taking the Challenge exam for Spanish in the spring.


What is the exam?

It’s a verbal and written exam for native and heritage speakers and writers at the 301/302 level in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish.

If you don’t see your language listed above, sorry, we do not test for it.

What credit do I earn?

We do NOT test for elementary or intermediate level credit. If you score an “A” on the exam you can earn either 6 credits for both the 301 & 302 (Advanced Composition & Conversation 1 & 2) courses in your language or 3 credits for the 302 level only. If you score a “B” on the exam, you earn 3 credits for 301 only. If you score lower than a “B” you earn zero credits.

Does my test grade show on my transcript?

No, the test grade does NOT show on your transcript. Only the Course Name (301 and/or 302) and the credits appear on your transcript. The exam does NOT raise or lower your Grade Point Average (GPA.)

How much does it cost?

For 3 credits...$90 *posting fee + $30 per credit = $180.00

For 6 credits...$180 *posting fee + $30 per credit = $360.00

How will the CPL impact my Gen. Ed. of Core requirements

The French/German/Italian/Spanish exam credits satisfy... Gen Ed II.C.3 or 301 satisfies Core Requirement 5 and 302 satisfies Core Requirement 12.

The Arabic/Chinese/Hebrew/Japanese exam credits satisfy...Gen Ed II.D. or 301 satisfies Core Requirement 5 and 302 satisfies Core Requirement 12.

If you submit your application but don’t take the exam for any reason (illness, etc.) you do not owe the application fee. If you take the exam and don’t pass it, you still MUST pay the application fee.

How do I apply?

  1. Fill out the application and have it stamped by the Foreign Languages Office (LA 4210.)
  2. Submit the application in-person to the Registrar’s Office (Enrollment Services Building, on Osler Drive, Room 224) by Friday, October 30, 2020. No applications will be accepted after Friday, October 30, 2020.
  3. Take the exam on the date given (no make-up exam for any reason.)


Challenge Exam Dates (Fall 2020)





Chinese Fu TBA TBA
French Sainson TBA TBA
German Budzinski-Luftig TBA  TBA
Hebrew Bor TBA TBA
Italian Pampinella TBA TBA
Japanese Nonogaki TBA TBA
Portuguese Ramsdell TBA TBA