Challenge Exam Centre

High School Equivalency Challenge Exams

Didn't get the mark you wanted or needed on your Alberta diploma exam? Have you been out of school for a while and didn't write a diploma exam or take the course you need for post-secondary admission? Don't want to take or retake the entire course? We can help.

NorQuest College offers you the ability to challenge a High School (Grade 12) equivalency course by writing an exam that tests you on the content of the entire course. Your final grade is recorded on a NorQuest College transcript which you can use as proof of admission requirements at Alberta and Canadian universities, colleges, and technical institutes.

Note: Some institutions may not accept high school equivalency courses for admission to certain programs. Review the admission requirements of the program to which you plan to apply.

What is a High School Equivalency Course?

The Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT), which oversees Alberta transfer agreements between post-secondary institutions recognizes and publishes all high school equivalency courses annually, which are used as guides by admission offices in Alberta and Canadian institutions to evaluate your transcript. For more information about courses offered by Alberta post-secondary institutions which are accepted for admission purposes in lieu of Alberta Education courses, view the following documents:

What is a Challenge Exam?

Challenge exams allow you to write a single exam on a high school equivalency subject and receive a single final grade based on the score of the exam. We do not combine coursework grades like Alberta Education courses. The final grade on your NorQuest transcript will be the mark you receive on your challenge exam.

When to challenge?

You should consider taking a challenge exam if you:

  • Missed your diploma or course final exam.
  • Were ill, late or distracted on the day you wrote the diploma or final exam.
  • Recently completed a prep or review and have a better understanding of the course content.
  • Are close to achieving your competitive entrance mark for post-secondary admission.
  • Require a quick turnaround for an updated transcript for application.

When to consider taking a course or review instead?

You should consider taking a course or review instead of the challenge exam if:

  • You need a significant change in your grade from your previous final exam mark.
  • It has been several years since you have completed the class.
  • You require a different course sequence than what you studied. For example, you studied Math 30-2 in high school but require Math 30-1 for post-secondary entrance.
  • Your final exam mark of your course was significantly lower than the mark you require for post-secondary entrance.

Many of the Alberta Education courses have changed in the past 5–10 years and you may not be familiar with the new curriculum or standards of excellence. See our Courses section for the specific courses you can take to upgrade.

For more information, contact:

Office of the Registrar




Main Floor, Heritage Tower,
Downtown Campus


Monday - Wednesday
8:15am – 4:30pm

9:00am – 4:30pm

8:15am – 4:30pm

Closed on weekends and statutory holidays

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