English Challenge Exam

What is the English Challenge exam?

The English Challenge Exam is given to students who are non-native speakers of the English language.  This test will allow non-native speakers to receive credit in ESL (English as a Second Language).


When can I take the English challenge exam?

The English challenge exam is given once a semester/term. In Fall Semester, the exam will be given on the 4th Thursday and Saturday of October; In Winter, the 1st Thursday and Saturday of March; In Spring, the 1st Thursday and Saturday in June; In Summer, the 1st Thursday and Saturday in August. The test is administered in B153 JFSB. Thursday exams will be given from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.  Saturday exams will be given from 10:00am to 1:00pm.


How do I qualify to take the challenge exam?

Generally, if English your second language and it is not your education language, you can take the exam.  If you are unsure if you qualify to take this exam, come in to the office in 4064 JFSB,  call 801-422-2937, or email us at lingoffice@byu.edu.


How many credits do I receive if I pass the exam?

You can received up to 15 credits from the exam. The exam covers material given in ESL classes 301 (Advanced Academic English), 302 (Advanced English Pronunciation), 303 (College Writing & Study Skills), 304 (Academic Writing), and 305 (Applied Grammar) and each course is worth three credits. 12 credits are graded and the other 3 are pass/fail. The 3 pass/pass fail credits come from ESL 302.


What is the exam like?

The test is administered on the computer. The content is generally academic in nature covering listening, reading, grammar, and writing. There are two types of items for the listening exam. In one type you will hear a sentence or two followed by a multiple-choice question. In the second type, you will listen to a short academic lecture followed by multiple-choice questions. For the reading exam, you will read several short passages on general academic topics with each passage followed by multiple-choice items. For the grammar test, you will complete multiple-choice short answers or multiple-choice error correction. For the writing exam, you will be given a general topic to write on. You may choose to type your response on the computer or write it on a paper.


How do I sign up to take the exam?


      1. Go to challengeexam.byu.edu
      2. Click on “Request Challenge Exam”
      3. Select Teaching Area “ESL” from the drop-down list
      4. Select bundle “ESL 301, ESL 302, ESL 303, ESL 304, ESL 305” from course drop-down list
      5. Check box agreeing to the examination fee (student will only have to pay the $20 fee if exam is approved)
      6. Submit Request
      7. Check YMessage (message will be sent when the exam is approved/denied) *OR check challengeexam.byu.edu under “Exam Status” tab
      8. If/When approved, pay the $20 fee (charged to student account-My Financial Center)
      9. Watch for an email from our department asking when you would like to take the exam.


When will I know my results?

Exam scores will be posted 1-2 weeks after the day of the exam.

To access your scores, use the following instructions:

  1. Check YMessage (notification will be sent when exam has been graded)
  2. Click on link in YMessage (brings student to challengeexam.byu.edu to see the grade of his/her exam)
  3. Under Transcript Action column select “Post to Transcript” or “Discard Grade”
  4. Grade will appear on transcript within 24 hours (ONLY if a student already has BYU credit on transcript)


Can I take the exam multiple times?

No. You may only take the exam once.

Back to top