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Credit by Exam


If you obtained college-level learning in a particular subject area you may be able to take an exam to fulfill the credit requirement in your NOVA degree or certificate program. CLEP and DSST offer multiple-choice exams in a number of general education, business and foreign language areas. Credit for these exams is applied to your program as transfer credit and does not effect your GPA. A full list of the available exams and their NOVA equivalent courses can be found in the CPL Manual (Section 3).

Exams are not available for all NOVA courses. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year school, please check their transfer credit acceptance policies before pursuing credit by exam.Visit the CLEP and DSST websites for more information about these exams and to purchase practice tests and study guides. You must pay for the cost of the exam (approximately $80) and pay NOVA a $75 testing fee for each exam you take. There is no charge to transcript CLEP or DSST credit to your NOVA account.

Industry Exams

Several industry-recognized exams are accepted by NOVA for college credit, such as ASE, ICCP, ARI-GAMA, ICE/ARI EPA and others. If you successfully completed an exam and meet the other listed requirements, you may receive credit by presenting documentation to a NOVA Student Services Center. A full list of these exams and the NOVA equivalent courses can be found in the CPL Manual (Section 3).

Foreign Language Exams

NOVA accepts CLEP and New York University (NYU) Foreign Language Proficiency Exams. If you are proficient in a foreign language, you may take one of these exams to earn college credit for your language skills.

CLEP offers foreign language exams in Spanish, French and German.

CLEP Foreign Language Exams and NOVA Equivalents


NOVA Course


French Language

FRE 101-102 (cutoff score of 50)


FRE 101-102 + 201-202 (cutoff score of 59)


German Language

GER 101-102 (cutoff score of 50)


GER 101-102 + 201-202 (cutoff score of 60)


Spanish Language

SPA 101-102 (cutoff score of 50)


SPA 101-102 + 201-202 (cutoff score of 63)


New York University (NYU) Foreign Language Proficiency Exams are available in over 50 different languages. This option is intended for students who were educated in a language other than English and wish to earn college credit for their native language.

NOVA will accept the 12-Point Exam for six credits of World Language 201-202. Scoring for this test can take up to eight weeks and the scores are valid for five years. You must take the exam at a designated location in the United States if not taking it at NYU.

The 12-Point exam tests listening, reading and writing skills. You have two hours to complete the entire 12-Point Exam. A score of at least 7-9 points (Intermediate-Mid) will receive 3 credits for level 201. A score of 10-12 points (Intermediate-High) will receive 6 credits for levels 201-202.

NOVA Faculty developed a handful of course-specific exams. Except for the SDV 100 exam, you must contact the department offering the exam to determine if you are qualified to take it. There is no charge for ABLE exams. Here is the full list of exams offered.

Course Credits

AIR 111

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Controls


AIR 121

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration I





HLT 141

Introduction to Medical Terminology


HRT 100

Introduction to Horticulture


NAS 150

Human Biology


SDV 100

College Success Skills

  • No prior approval is required.
  • If you earned an A-F in SDV 100/101, you are ineligible to take the SDV ABLE.
  • If you are a GPS student, you are ineligible to take the SDV 100/101 ABLE in your first two semesters.


Testing Center Locations

You can take the CLEP, DSST, NYU Language exams and others at the Annandale or Alexandria NOVA Workforce Professional Testing Centers. Please contact the Testing Center for registration and cost details.

Alexandria Professional Test Center
Workforce Development Division
AL Campus, Engineering, AE 210
5000 Dawes Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22311

Annandale Professional Test Center
Workforce Development Division Center for Employee Development
7630 Little River Turnpike, Suite 503
Annandale, VA 22003

Woodbridge Professional Test Center
Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training
2645 College Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22191-4099