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

  • Credit by examination (CBE) is one method for students to demonstrate proficiency in grade-level or course content.
  • Students in elementary schools may be accelerated in subjects or grade levels based on results on a CBE assessment(s).
  • Secondary students may be accelerated or earn course credit towards graduation requirements.
  • All students currently enrolled in NISD are eligible.
  • The NISD student ID# is required to register for CBE.
  • 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.
  • Special consideration needs to be made for magnet students. Acceleration and/or scores earned on the Credit-by-Exam may impact the student’s GPA and/or the course schedule. NISD recommends that any magnet student that wishes to continue on their magnet program path attain their credits through their traditional magnet program pathway, rather than through Credit-by-Exam. See your Magnet Campus Counselor for more 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.


  • Check the CBE testing schedule on the NISD website.
  • It is possible to test out of one entire grade level in Grades 1-8; and subject areas for Grades 9-12 listed in Chapter 74 of SB1.
  • Students may not take a CBE test to try to attain a higher grade on a course or CBE they have previously passed.
  • CBE is not available for students to receive honors-level and/or or AP 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 both the Kindergarten math and language arts exams. (TEC29.151 and 42.003(d) age) / 28.002(1) required curriculum)
  • The same application form for CBE should be completed for these students, who must be registered/ pre-registered in the district (NISD student ID# required). 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 (documentation required).
  • There are no initial charges to the student and/or parent. However, if a parent requests an alternative examination (re-test), then the parent will have to pay for the exam which the district will administer.  
  • 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 attempting to test out of a grade level or course without having had any prior instruction.
    • Kinder - 8th grade students may only accelerate out of one entire grade level and must score an 80% or higher on each individual exam.
    • 1st-5th grade: Student’s attempting to accelerate out of the 1st-5th grade level, must choose two (2) test dates. The first session includes 2 exams (Math and Science) and students must score an 80% or higher on both exams to continue testing. If applicable, English Language Arts and Social Studies will then be taken at the second test session. Students must score 80% or higher in all four subject areas (math, social studies, language arts, science) to accelerate out of a grade level.
    • 6th-8th grade: Student’s attempting to accelerate out of the 6th-8th grade level & are currently enrolled in Advanced Math need to choose three (3) test dates, one date per each subject: Social Studies A/B, Lang.Arts A/B, & Science A/B. If the student is currently enrolled in an on-level math course, please choose four (4) test dates (Math A/B, Social Studies A/B, Lang.Arts A/B, & Science A/B). Each test date will include 2 exams (A & B semester).
    • Elementary & Middle school acceleration into a new grade level will only occur at the beginning of the school year. Mid-year and End-of-year acceleration is not allowed, therefore students will become eligible for acceleration at the beginning of the following school year.
    • Students are only eligible to apply for exams for which all prerequisite courses have been met according to the NISD Course Catalog & TEA (see your Campus Counselor for more information).
  • Validation applies to students needing to validate credit from homeschool or non-accredited private/public school (proof required). A score of 70% or higher is required on each individual exam.
  • Recovery applies to students trying to recover credit for a failed course (proof required). A score of 70% or higher is required on each individual exam.

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 AP 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Yes, a student may take a maximum of two (2) tests on one test date.
  • For Elementary students, the grade level Mathematics and Science tests will be given the first test date; both require passing scores of 80% or higher, before Social Studies and Language Arts will be given on a second test date.
  • For Secondary students, the District grants credit by semester, therefore a secondary student 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. (ex: Geometry A and Geometry B are considered 2 separate exams)
  • 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% or higher is required to award credit.

For students who earn credit for a subject through 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)

  • Northside ISD uses exams purchased from Texas Tech University K-12 to evaluate a student’s mastery of Texas standards for a given subject or discipline. Learn about TTU's K-12 CBE
  • NISD will order requested retests through the University of Texas and will be at the cost of the parent/guardian. Learn about UT High School's K-12 CBE
  • Students are allowed only two attempts per subject area.
  • Scoring for all exams are conducted by the University and may take up to 4 weeks to return to Northside ISD

Contact Information


Nicole Salazar, Credit Advancement Coordinator



Carin Adermann, Director of Testing