Proficiency Testing/Assessment (Test Out)

On occasion, students may have already acquired the knowledge and skills that are actually the intended outcomes of a particular course. For these individuals, Blackhawk Technical College offers proficiency exams. A student is considered proficient in a given area when she/he has achieved a high level of competency in a specific skill or field of knowledge. A minimum "B" grade is required to pass most exams. Successful completion of such exams results in the granting of credit for the course. The credit for the course is entered on the student's record and appears on his/her transcript as "PR". You can find the list of available proficiency exams--here.

The exams measure a student's competency for all of the material covered in the course and typically take 2-3 hours to complete. The exams may be comprised of essay, short-answer, matching, or multiple choice questions.  The exams are rigorous: fewer than 10% of students who attempt the exams are successful.

Exam Information :

You must complete the exam within the first two weeks of the Fall or Spring semester or the the first week of the Summer semester.

To complete the process, a student must:

  • Be enrolled and attending the course.
  • Prior to exam, see advisor or stop by the Student Services Office to receive a purple Credit for Prior Learning Form. This form needs to be filled out in order to take the exam.
  • Assessments are managed directly with the appropriate Division and faculty so contact the appropriate Division to schedule the exam. (Proficiency Results are released only through the U.S. mail (Family Educational Rights Privacy Act - FERPA)
  • You will be contacted when your exam is ready. You will have only certain number of days to complete the exam and you will need to show photo identification to take the exam.
  • Continue to attend class and complete all assignments while waiting for exam results, typically received within a week of taking the exam

You will be notified by phone or college email with your exam results.

  • If you do pass the exam, you will earn the course credits and you will receive a grade of PR (proficient) on your transcript.  (Note: the course will still show up on our transcripts until the semester ends.) The PR does not count in calculation of your GPA.
  • If you do not pass the exam, you will need to complete the course to earn the credits for the course.

    Please Note :

    • Tests cannot be previewed prior to taking the exam or upon completion of the exam
    • Students can not retest for the same exam.
    • Students are ineligible to test for a course for which they have previously earned a failing grade
    • Financial aid can be awarded for proficiency testing/assessment situations. 

    Arrangements for accommodating students will be made as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.