French Challenge Exam

IMPORTANT: You are responsible to comply with all information and instructions on. If you do not comply, you may not be able to receive credit for the exam and interviews. Deadlines for these steps will be announced by your instructor.

Instructions (To be completed in order)

1. READ THIS COMPLETELY. If you have questions, contact the front desk secretaries at (801)-422-2209 or at

2. Go to the following link to register for the challenge exam. Note: Your student account will be charged a $20 fee for the exam.

3. Go to or check under “Exam Status” to see if you have been approved to take the challenge exam.

4. Go to to reserve a 3-hour block of time to take the exam in the humanities Testing Lab, B-153 JFSB.

5. Go to the Humanities Testing Lab, B-153 JFSB, to take the exam. We suggest arriving at the lab a few minutes early. If you do not take the exam at the time you reserved, or if you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you will have to wait until the next time the exam is offered – which may not be until the next semester.

6. If you are eligible to challenge French 211R and/or French 311R, make an appointment for an oral interview with your French 321 or French 202 instructor. (If you are enrolled in French 201, talk to Dr. Rose: 3125 JFSB, 422-3935.) Complete the oral interview as scheduled.

7. Check to see if your grades are ready for you to accept online.  You may refuse any of the five grades you receive on the exam if you do not want them to appear on your transcript. Once you have accepted the grades on-line they will be posted to your transcript. You have one year to accept your grades.

A. What is the French Challenge Examination?

The challenge exam allows certain BYU students to receive graded credit for the following courses without taking them:


French 101 (1st Year French Part 1) 4
French 102 (1st Year French Part 2) 4
French 201 (Intermediate French Pt 1) 4
French 211R (2nd Year Conversation) 2
French 311R (3rd Year Conversation) 2

B. When is the French Challenge Examination offered?

The French & Italian Department offers the exam near the end of each semester and at the end of spring and/or summer terms as needed.

C. Who can take the French Challenge Examination?

Any full-time BYU student who is NOT a native French speaker and who is currently enrolled in or has already taken French 201 (Intermediate French Pt 1) and/or French 321 (Advanced French Grammar) may take the French Challenge Examination with the following restrictions: (Students can take the French challenge exam only once).

– Missionaries who have returned from a mission where they spoke French full-time and who are enrolled in French 321 or have already taken French 321 may challenge all five courses (16 credits) shown in paragraph A.
– Missionaries who have returned from a mission where they spoke French full-time or part-time and who are enrolled in French 201 or have already taken French 201 but not French 321 may challenge only French 101, 102, 211R, and 311R (12 credits).
– Students who have not returned from a French-speaking mission may challenge French language courses they have not taken at BYU (up to 12 credits). They are not eligible to challenge French conversation courses (French 211R or French 311R).

D. Can a grade I receive on the French Challenge Exam replace a previous grade?

Grades received on the challenge exam cannot replace French courses already taken.  The University policy states: “For classes repeated beginning Fall Semester 2011: Your grades from all of your enrollments of a class count toward your grade point average (GPA) and total credit hours.” In other words all challenge exam grades that you accept will be used in the calculation of your GPA.

E. How can I prepare for the French Challenge Exam?

Doing well in French 321 or French 201 should prepare you for the sections of the challenge exam you are eligible to challenge. Note the following recommendations to returned missionaries concerning which class to take:

– Missionaries who have returned from a mission where they spoke French full-time and who, in fact, spoke French throughout their mission should enroll in French 321.
– Missionaries who have returned from a mission where they spoke French only part-time (Montreal for example) should enroll in French 201.
– Missionaries who have returned from a full-time mission where they spoke French Creole (Haiti for example) should enroll in French 201.

These recommendations are based on our overall experience with returned missionaries; however, your decision should be based on your own level of French at the time you enroll.

F. What is on the French Challenge Exam and how is it graded?

The French 101, 102 and 201 portions of the Challenge exam consist of sections that test listening comprehension, communicative situations, vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. Grades for all challenged courses are assigned using the same standards we use for on-campus courses. In other words, if you do as well on the French 101 portion of the challenge exam as students who earn an A in the on-campus version of the course, you will also receive an A for the course. If you do as well as students who earn a B+ you will receive a B+, etc. Grades for French 211R and 311R are based on a common scoring rubric.

G. What if I have questions?

If you have questions about the information on this flyer, about the exam itself, or about your results, contact the French and Italian Department at (801)-422-2209.