Challenge by Exam (CBE)

There are many Bucks courses that you may challenge by taking a standardized exam (CLEP or DSST) or a departmental challenge exam (CREX).

You will need to work with multiple areas of the College to challenge a Bucks course by exam:

The Office of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Complete the PLA Application and submit it to the PLA Office; indicate the type of exam(s) you intend to take and have your official exam results sent to Bucks.

The Testing Center

The Testing Center administers CLEP, DSST, NYU SCPS Language Proficiency and some CREX exams. See the CLEP and DSST Applications, available on the Testing Center’s web pages, for scheduling and payment information.

The Academic Department that Offers the Course

For CREX exams, contact the Academic Department in which the course is taught to obtain information and an Invoice. The Academic Department will provide you with information about the exam and where you will take it.

Student Accounts

Submit payment for standardized exams (CLEP, DSST) to the Testing Center. Submit payment for CREX exams to Student Accounts. The non-refundable fee must be paid prior to taking your exam.

Preparing for your Exam

Even when you feel confident of your knowledge, be sure to prepare for the exam. The CLEP Official Study Guide and Official DSST Test Preparation Guide are available at all three campuses in the Library and the Bookstore. The test publishers provide detailed exam information and resources on the CLEP and DSST web sites. The Academic Department in which the course is taught has information specific to a CREX exam.

Receiving College Credit for your Exam Results

To be eligible for equivalent credit for the associated Bucks course, your score must be at or above the published minimum passing score. If you do not achieve the minimum score, you must wait at least six (6) months to repeat a CLEP or CREX exam (except for NURS101/102) and 90 days for a DSST exam. Credit awarded from an exam will not replace a course grade that is on your Bucks transcript.When the PLA Office is in receipt of both your PLA Application and your official exam results showing a passing score, a Credit Award Proposal for equivalent credit is processed. When that Credit Award Proposal is fully approved, it is sent to Records for transcribing and a follow up email will be sent to you. No letter grade will be awarded and the code “CL” will be on the Bucks transcript for standardized exams (CLEP, DSST, NYU) or the code “CX” for CREX exams.


Credit based upon Challenge by Examination may not be transferable. However, many colleges and universities will have a similar process for awarding equivalent credit based upon standardized exam results (CLEP, DSST, NYU) and some may have a process for awarding equivalent credit or waiving pre-requisite requirements based upon departmental challenge (CREX) exam results. You should work directly with your transfer school and follow their process to request consideration of your exam results for credit.

Advising and Transfer Center - Rollins Center, 1st floor
 PLA Application | Catalog |‌  PLA Handbook