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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
Exam NOVA Course Credit
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.

Assessment By Local Exam (ABLE)
Using the exams prepared by NOVA faculty, Assessment By Local Exam (ABLE) allows students to receive credit for courses by demonstrating they have acquired the competencies through prior education or other experiences. In most cases, students may contact the department offering the exam to determine if they are qualified to take the exam; they may have to meet certain background requirements in order to qualify.
There is no charge for ABLE exams or for having credits recorded on the student's permanent record. Credits earned through ABLE exams do not count toward the College residency requirements, and may or may not transfer to other institutions of higher education. ABLE exams are listed in the chart below. 

ABLE Exams Offered
Course Credits Passing Score


Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Controls




Air Conditioning and Refrigeration I








Introduction to Medical Terminology


Provided at Medical Education Campus


Introduction to Horticulture 





Human Biology


 Under review

SDV-100 College Success Skills
  • Available through any campus testing center or NOVA Online
  • Students who have earned a grade in SDV 100/101 are ineligible to take the SDV ABLE.
  • First time college students ages 17-24, are ineligible to take the SDV ABLE for their first year.
  • If your program requires SDV 101, please check with department to determine if SDV ABLE will fulfill the requirement.  
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Testing Center Locations

You can take the CLEP, DSST, NYU Language exams and others at the location listed below. Please visit the test center website for detailed exam information and to schedule and pay for your test proctoring appointment. 

NOVA-Woodbridge Campus
Workforce Professional Testing Center 
2675 College Drive, WRC Suite 238
Woodbridge, VA 22191-4099