Challenge Exams

The Testing Centre has moved online.

  • Most post-secondary challenge exams are now offered online through ProctorU, an online eproctoring service. Contact your program area for more information about these exams.
  • All high school equivalency challenge exams are suspended indefinitely. If you are a currently enrolled NorQuest student looking to write a challenge exam to get into a post-secondary program, contact your student navigator to discuss your options.

Some post-secondary programs may allow students to write challenge exams to obtain credit for specific courses. If you have acquired skills or knowledge, which are relevant to the outcomes of a specific course, you may request permission from the program chair to enrol in and complete a challenge exam. A challenged course will appear on a student’s transcript with the grade obtained in the exam and will contribute to the grade point average. Some courses may not be eligible for challenge exam at the discretion of the program chair.

Note: Challenge exams cannot be written during the last week before the end of the Fall and Winter terms.

Challenge exam fee

The challenge exam fee is 50% of the tuition of the course, plus a $25 administration fee and a $40 testing fee.

High School Equivalency Challenge Exams

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. The challenge exam is an equivalency only and will not be included on your Alberta Education transcript. Your final grade is recorded on a NorQuest College transcript, which you can use to show you meet admission requirements at Alberta universities, colleges, and technical institutes.

What is a high school equivalency course?

The Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer recognizes and publishes high school equivalency courses annually. These courses are used by admission offices in Alberta and other provinces to evaluate your eligibility for admission.

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 mark you receive on your challenge exam will be the final grade on your NorQuest transcript.

Will this exam help me obtain an Alberta Education high school diploma?

No, this exam cannot be used towards an Alberta Education diploma. However, it can be used towards a NorQuest High School equivalency diploma.

When should I 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 should I 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 five 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.

Testing and Assessment Centre

Room 2-070, Singhmar Centre for Learning, Edmonton campus




Monday – Friday
8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Weekends & statutory holidays