Credit by Exam

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Credit-by-Exam (CBE) is a testing program offered by the Northside ISD for enrolled students in grades Kindergarten through 12. The purpose of CBE testing can be for acceleration (a student wishing to test out of a grade level or course without having had prior instruction), validation of home school or non-accredited private or public school credit when other methods are not available, or recovery of credit for a failed course.

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All currently enrolled students in Northside ISD are eligible for Credit-by-Exam. However, not every student is eligible to test during every test session. Please refer to the Test Schedule to determine which dates your student is eligible to test.

Students who are not enrolled in Northside ISD are not eligible for Credit-by-Exam testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

All students currently enrolled in NISD are eligible.

Students who have completed a grade/course in a non-accredited school or through home school may use an alternative validation of credit process rather than going through the NISD Credit-by-Exam process. Check with the Executive Directors of Secondary / Elementary Education or your school counselor for more detailed information.

Yes. However, if the student has failed a grade level or course due to absences, a campus committee made up of a campus administrator, the teacher of the course or grade level, and a counselor must approve the CBE testing. This option is only available at the secondary level as recovery of the credit.

It is possible to test out of one grade level in Grades 1-8; and subject areas for Grades 9-12 listed in Chapter 74 of SB1.

(Please note: Most courses that require performance assessments such as Fine Arts, Speech, Physical Education, etc. are not eligible for CBE.)

Please check the Eligible Course list on NISD website.

Students may not take a CBE test to try to attain a higher grade on a course or CBE they have previously passed.

Students may not use CBE to receive honors-level or A/P credit.

Yes. Students who are eligible to enter kindergarten (age 5 on or before September 1), may be “accelerated” and placed in the first grade by meeting the required score of 80% or higher on Kindergarten math and language arts exams. (The same application form for CBE should be completed for these students who are registered / pre-registered in the district.)

Students who have completed kindergarten in a public school in another state or in a DoD (Department of Defense) school are eligible to attend Grade 1 without any Credit- by-Exam testing.


However, if a parent requests an alternative examination, the district will recognize results of a test purchased by the parent or student from The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University, or College Board Advanced Placement (secondary only).

Acceleration applies to students in Grades K-12 attempting to test out of a grade or course without having had prior instruction.

Validation applies to students in Grades 6-12 needing to validate credit from home school or non-accredited private or public school.

Recovery applies to students in Grades 6-12 trying to recover credit for a failed course.

Yes. Except for purposes of validation of non-accredited schooling, a student may earn a total of five (5) high school credits to be counted toward graduation requirements.

By signing the application, the parent/guardian agrees to accept passing grades earned on Credit-by-Exam tests, unless parent/guardian submits a rejection letter to the campus within 90 days of being notified of the scores. Passing scores are recorded in the student record and, at the high school level, these scores are used in computing the student’s grade point average. Honors or A/P credits are not awarded via CBE.

A student is only permitted two total attempts at earning a credit through CBEs in a given subject. These attempts may include a CBE administered by NISD or alternate tests provided at parent expense, from The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University; or College Board Advanced Placement (secondary only).

Per TAC §74.24 a student may take a specific examination only once during each testing window (Jan 1-Mar 31, Apr 1-June 30, July 1-Sept 30, Oct 1-Dec 31).

If a student fails to earn credit by examination for a specific high school course before the beginning of the school year in which the student would ordinarily be required to enroll in the course in accordance with the school district’s prescribed course sequence, the student must satisfactorily complete the course to receive credit. (TEC7424(c)(10)

Yes, a student may take a maximum of two (2) tests on one test date.

For Elementary students the grade level Mathematics and Social Studies tests will be given the first test date; both require passing scores of 80% or higher, before Science and Language Arts will be given on a second test date.

For Secondary students the District grants credit by semester, therefore secondary students must test out of courses by semester and may take only two semester tests per test date. (CBE Test Dates are posted on the NISD website).

For acceleration, a grade of 80% or higher, per subject or semester course is required to award credit.

For validation or recovery of credit, a grade of 70% is required to award credit.

For students who earn credit for a subject thru credit-by-exam for acceleration and scored 80% or higher, the school district will enter the examination score on the students transcript; and the student is exempt from taking an end-of-course assessment for that subject, if one is offered. (TEC 74.24(c)(11)

You can find the Credit-by-Exam study guides here.


Contact Information


Nicole Salazar, Credit Advancement Coordinator



Carin Adermann, Director of Testing