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Challenge Examination Instructions

A student may sit for a challenge examination only in a course in which s/he has not yet registered. Students may not receive credit by challenge examination either for courses already completed or for courses that are prerequisite to courses already completed. Please review the guidelines set forth in the University Catalog.

Important: A student must be registered for at least 1 credit in the semester in which a challenge exam(s) is taken but should NOT register for the class(es) they are challenging.

Please follow the challenge procedures as outlined below:

  • The STUDENT fills out an Undergraduate Petition requesting permission to take the challenge examination. The petition form may be obtained from the Dean's Office in the college of the student's major. Use one petition for each course challenged, unless multiple courses are in the same department.


  • This petition must include the signatures, on the appropriate lines, of the INSTRUCTOR who will administer the examination, the DEPARTMENT CHAIR assigned to the course and the DEAN of the College in the student's major.Note: The DEPARTMENT CHAIR should check the "Challenge" box in the center section of the petition form and next to that box, write the local account number to which the challenge fee should be posted.


  • When the petition has been approved, the student will receive a copy from the Office of the Registrar.


  • After approval, the student must take the copy of the petition to the Cashier's Office and pay the challenge exam fee.  If the exam is administered by ISU faculty, the cost for each credit is 33% of the current cost per credit hour.


  • The student will need to take the receipt from the Cashier's Office to the test administrator prior to taking the examination.


  • The test examiner grades the challenge exam and completes a challenge grade form which will then be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. Once all the above information is received in the Office of the Registrar, the credits will be recorded on the student's transcript.


  • When a challenge examination is taken, whatever grade is earned is recorded. Should the grade from a challenge examination be undesirable to the student, the student may take the course for credit to exclude the challenge grade.