Credit by exam opportunity allows students to get quick course credit


Kaylee Aguilar

Credit by Exam (CBE) is a test that allows a student to earn a college credit for a certain classes in high school by taking a test. Coppell High School currently offers four different subjects: Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology and US History.

Anika Arutla , Staff Writer

What is CBE?


Coppell High School junior Manasa Gudavalli wanted to get ahead of the learning curve and Coppell ISD offered an opportunity.


Students have the option to take the Credit by Exam (CBE) with the opportunity to receive full credit for the course without enrolling the class.


There are two levels to the exam. The first level is for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This is classified as the acceleration exam. The secondary level is for students in sixth grade through 12th grade. If you take the CBE, the credit you take is considered a level two class and not a third level (honors) or fourth level (AP/IB). This means the max GPA is a 5.0.


Furthermore, once you take the CBE the grade is permanent and cannot be removed from your transcript and there is no limit to the amount of credit by exams a student can take.


If you pass the exam by 80 percent or higher, you cannot retake the course to receive a higher grade.


The exam is offered to those who want to get ahead and to those who have failed a course beforehand and still want to receive the credit.


If the exam is taken for failing a course, a requirement is having at least a 60 in the class. In addition, if you take the exam and get a higher grade, they replace the original grade with the exam grade but also keep the original grade to show improvement.


Possible benefits of credit by exam


The CBE exam lets people opt out of classes that they feel they do not need or are not challenging enough for them.


“I found it helpful, because I wasn’t stuck taking a class where I would know all the information ahead of time,” Gudavalli said. “I was able to get ahead in math and take a course where I could use my class time to learn new things.”


The CBE exams offered include Algebra 1, English I, English II, Biology or U.S. History. In some cases, students take the math exams to get ahead.


“I can finish my math classes early and be done with all my math classes before senior year,” CHS sophomore Rohil Verma said. “A lot of my friends were taking it and I figured if I wanted to stay a part of them, I should take it too.”


Possible downfalls of credit by exam


However, opting out of these classes can have an affect on a student’s health.


“I’ve seen a lot of people who sacrifice sleep and eating and taking care of themselves for like grades and things and I think in the long run, it’s not healthy,” said former CHS student Akila Muthukumar, who is now a junior at the Texas Academy of Math and Sciences (TAMS).


Furthermore, teachers do not recommend taking the exam. They believe that if a student is in it for the wrong reasons, then they are abusing the point of the exam.


“It depends on what the students ultimate goals are,” English II teacher Sarah Baker said. “If a  student wants to get a high school diploma and credit hours then the exam is for them. However, for students who go into the academic fields and want to pursue graduate degrees, the credit by exam is hinders their ability to participate in the class.”


CBE is intended to be offered to those who are prepared for the exam and the purpose of getting ahead is to accelerate in an area that a person is passionate about.


“I always look for the student who takes the highest level of whatever they are passionate in and score well in it rather than taking classes for the numbers,” assistant director of admissions at University of Texas Alexandra Taylor said.


Follow Anika @anikaarutla