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What Is a Challenge Exam?

If you feel that your background, education, and experience have given you sufficient knowledge in a subject area, you may challenge certain courses. Earning course credit through Challenge Examinations is equivalent to passing a cumulative, end-of-the-term examination or a series of comparable exams. Examinations will vary depending on the type of course challenged. An instructor of the College recommended by the appropriate Academic Area Dean develops the examination. Each academic area selects which courses are available for challenge and may have academic area-specific screening procedures to determine a student’s eligibility to take the Challenge exam. Challenge exams are not available as an option if other proficiency examinations such as CLEP are available.

A Challenge Exam Cannot Be Taken for the Following Purposes

  • To expunge a failure in a course at Northern Essex Community College or elsewhere.
  • To attempt to raise a low grade in a course at Northern Essex Community College or elsewhere.
  • To erase a previously obtained unsatisfactory score on any of the subject examinations.

Challenge Exam Process

If you desire to pursue a challenge exam, you must be able to describe briefly the experiences that provided you with the knowledge and skills relevant to the course being challenged. Upon receipt of your application with academic area approval, and your payment for this service, your exam is scheduled. After a successful challenge, course credit is awarded with a grade of P (Pass).

Prior to registering, it is strongly encouraged you to speak with a faculty member or advisor to see if this is a good option for you.

There is a $40.00 non-refundable administrative fee and a $50 per credit fee due in advance of scheduling.

Click here for Challenge Exam Registration Information

Challenge Exams Offered

  • CIS110 Computer Applications (3 cr.)
  • CIS112 Integrated Computer Applications (4 cr.)
  • CIS113 Database Management (4 cr.)
  • CIS117 Introduction to Linux (1 cr.)
  • HES102 Learning Strategies for Success in Healthcare Careers (3 cr.)
  • HES115 Medical Terminology (3 cr.)
  • HUS172 Counseling Techniques for Substance Abuse (3 cr.)
  • MRT117 Basic Diagnosis Coding (3 cr.)
  • MRT118 Procedure Coding Systems – CPT (3 cr.)
  • MRT204 Reimbursement, Compliance & Coding Issues (3 cr.)
  • MRT217 Intermediate Diagnostic Coding (3 cr.)
  • MRT218 Intermediate Procedural Coding (3 cr.)
  • RSC101 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care I (3 cr.)
  • RSC102 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care II (4 cr.)

Once you complete the request, we will provide you with resources to prepare for the Challenge Exam.


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