Credit by Exam (CBE)

Definition & Purpose

Credit by Exam (CBE) and Exam for Acceleration (EA) are terms that are occasionally used interchangeably, but they are not utilized for the same purpose. To learn more about EAs, please visit the District’s Exam for Acceleration Page.

Credit by Exam (CBE) - Utilized to earn credit for a course, when a student has had prior instruction, and under the following conditions:

  • The student is enrolling in the District from a non-accredited school;

  • The student has failed a subject or course; or

  • The student has earned a passing grade in a subject or course but has failed to earn credit because of excessive absences

Students must demonstrate mastery of 70% or higher on a CBE to earn credit.

Students, under certain circumstances, may be able to take credit by exam for a course in which they have had prior instruction but did not receive credit. This option must be approved by the campus principal (or designee). This option generally applies to students who have not earned credit due to extenuating circumstances such as a family move, illness, etc. Students who attended school in a foreign country where students were taught in a language other than English may also qualify to test that language (French, Spanish, German) with prior instruction. 

Students are encouraged to review the admission requirements for universities before choosing the credit by exam option. Students who may potentially be candidates for athletic scholarships should be advised that credits earned through credit by exam may not qualify for minimum core course requirements under NCAA guidelines


  • Only students currently enrolled at a Frisco ISD campus are eligible to apply for a Credit by Exam.

  • To be eligible for a credit by exam, a student must have had prior instruction in the course. It also may apply to students who were homeschooled or attended a non-accredited private school and need state approved credit.

  • Applications are available from the school counselor and must be submitted by the parent electronically.

  • After successful completion of a CBE, the numerical score earned will be posted to the student’s high school transcript and the student will earn high school credit. The transcripted credit will not be calculated into the student’s grade point average (GPA) for ranking purposes. For middle school courses, the student’s CBE numerical score will be documented in the student’s permanent academic record. Scores not meeting the passing standard will be documented in the student’s high school transcript or middle school permanent record as “NG.”  

  • Students who register for Credit by Exam with prior instruction will be responsible for the cost of the exam.  There is a fee of $45-$50 (depending on exam) for each semester exam.

  • Additional information can be found in the current Frisco ISD Academic Guide & Course Catalog.

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