Challenge Exam

***Eligible students will receive an email with information regarding when to sign up for the exam and will receive detailed instructions from their professors. Please be patient and wait for these instructions as they may come late in the semester. The exam is scheduled at different times each semester.


In order to take this exam students must be enrolled in a BYU Spanish or Portuguese class. Most returned missionaries should take PORT 321 or SPAN 321. Returned missionaries who wish to strengthen their language skills may start with Spanish 205/206 or Port 206 and may take the exam for 12 credits. If you aren’t sure which Spanish class to enroll for, please click here. The password is cougars1. If you aren’t sure which Portuguese class to enroll in, please click here.

Native speakers cannot take the exam for their native language. For example, a native Spanish speaker cannot take the Spanish exam but can take the Portuguese exam. They are able to take an exam in English. For information on the English exam, please contact the Department of Linguistics and English Language, 4064-C JFSB, 801-422-2937.

The exam must be taken during your first Spanish/Portuguese class at BYU or your first Spanish/Portuguese class after the mission. If you choose not to take it this semester, you cannot take it during a future semester.

According to university policy, if a student has taken an exam at another university, through our Off-Campus Testing Office, or has IB or AP credit, he/she may still take this test. The challenge exam will not replace those former grades or credits.  All test credits will be added to student’s total credits earned.

Non-BYU students may take the challenge exam if they register for and take 321 as a visiting student during the spring/summer terms. If they do not wish to take 321, there is also an off-campus credit exam available, but it is only 12 credits and is Pass/Fail. Please contact Foreign Language Achievement Testing at 801-422-3512 for more information.

Registration and Taking the Exam:

All students in 321, 205, and 206 will receive an email with registration information. The dates of the exam will be announced in class by the SPAN/PORT 321 instructor each semester. Forms and instructions will be distributed by the instructor of SPAN 321/PORT 321. Students not enrolled in 205 or 206 will pick them up from the Department office, 3190 JFSB.

You may only take the exam one time. There are no retakes.

The exam is two-hour timed and is taken on the computers in the Humanities Testing Lab in B-153 JFSB.

There are basic study tips available in the department office (3190 JFSB).

Scores and Credits:

The challenge exam consists of 100 & 200-level courses. You do NOT need these credits for the language certificate, minor, or major. You will not need to go back and take these classes if you choose not to take the exam or choose not to accept these grades.

You decide which scores you want to put on your transcript. The scores you choose WILL affect your overall GPA and your total credit hours but will NOT affect credit caps for scholarships, applying to programs, etc.

You MUST sign for scores in person, with ID in 3190 JFSB in order for them to be added to your transcript.

If it is your first semester at BYU, the scores you have signed for will appear a few days after this semester’s grades are posted. If it is not your first semester at BYU, your scores will appear within 3 weeks.

Challenge exam credits are considered/included when priority registration dates are calculated, as long as the credit has already posted to the student’s record when the calculation is made.

Challenge exam credits DO NOT COUNT towards the requirement for students to declare a major by the time they have earned 60 credit hours or stop them from changing their major when they reach 75 credit hours, nor are students charged a higher “Advanced Study Tuition” rate for having too many credit hours. Challenge exam credits ARE counted in the students’ total BYU credit hours and GPAs on their transcripts.