Prior Learning Assessment Exams

Exams used to assess the potential for PLA credit include standardized exams and exams created specifically for CCA courses.


CCA will award college credit through the PLA process if you receive the minimum required score noted in the CCA PLA Credit Crosswalk on any of the following standardized exams.

Advanced Placement Test (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)

If you completed Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate courses in high school and received the required minimum test score, you can apply to receive college credit for those courses. 

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DSST Examination Program 

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DSST Examination Program (formerly known as DANTES) are two widely recognized national credit-by-examination programs.  CCA accepts scores from both programs.  For additional information on available exams, fees and to register for an exam, check out the CLEP and DSST websites.

CLEP exam vouchers must be purchased through the CLEP website.  DSST exam vouchers may be purchased directly from the CCA Testing Center. Once you pay for and receive your exam voucher, you may contact the CCA Testing Center ( or 303-360-4948) to schedule a time to take your exam.  Please note that an additional proctoring fee of $25 is required for exams taken at the Testing Center.  Payment may be made at the Cashiers' Office with cash, check or credit and must be made prior to taking your exam.

If you are planning to transfer to a four-year institution, we recommend you talk with your advisor for guidance on how prior learning credits are handled in the transfer process. For additional information on available standardized exam options, costs, and registration processes, check out the CCA Testing Center webpages.

CCA-SPECIFIC EXAMS (Challenge Exams)

In addition to standardized exam options, you may also request a course “challenge” exam developed by CCA faculty.  These exams are called “challenge” exams because you are requesting the opportunity to demonstrate through a comprehensive examination that you have the knowledge and skills to pass the course without completing the learning activities required in the course.  A challenge exam covers all of the content and learning objectives of the course for which you are requesting PLA credit, and may include a skills demonstration.

Challenge exams are charged a fee per course credit for each exam attempt with a maximum of two exam attempts per course. Check the CCA PLA Credit Crosswalk for current exam costs.

To initiate the challenge exam process, contact the department chair for the course you wish to challenge. The department chair will guide you through the process.  



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