The Foreign Language Challenge Exam

What is it?

Stony Brook University's Foreign Language Challenge Exam program allows students to satisfy the Skill 3 / LANG general education requirement, earn credits (in some cases), or receive the appropriate placement in a sequence of language classes. Challenge Exams can be taken in all languages taught at Stony Brook and in some other foreign languages, depending on the availability of qualified proctors. Students interested in taking a Challenge Exam should visit the Language Learning Research Center, (S141 Social and Behavioral Sciences, 631-632-6914) for more information and advice. To see what language courses are offered, go to Languages at SBU

Am I eligible?

The guidelines for the Challenge Exam are as follows:

 1. Only matriculated undergraduates are eligible to take a Challenge Exam.

 2. The relevant academic department determines the foreign language courses, if any, for which Challenge Exams are offered.

 3. A maximum of 15 credits may be accumulated through the Challenge Exam program. This total is included in the 30-credit limit on examination credits, including AP and CLEP, which can be applied toward the bachelor’s degree.

 4. Challenge Exams cannot be taken in foreign language courses that are pre-requisites for courses already passed.

 5. Challenge Exams cannot be taken for 111-level courses.

 6. Challenge Exams cannot be taken in foreign language courses that already appear on the student’s Stony Brook transcript, including courses transferred, registered (except during add/drop period), passed, failed, withdrawn, or incomplete, or credited through examination .

 7. Students may not take a Challenge Exam if they received academic credit in high school or college in the course being challenged or a higher level course.

 8. Challenge Exams cannot be taken more than once for the same course.

 9. Challenge Exam credit does not count toward full-time student status or academic standing.

 10. Challenge Exam credit does not fulfill the University residence requirement or satisfy the 55 credits in residence required of candidates for degrees with distinction.

 11. Challenge Exam credit may be used to fulfill upper division credit for foreign language courses at the 300-level and higher.

 12. Challenge Exam credit may be used to fulfill foreign language major and minor requirements, pending approval from the Undergraduate Program Director in the respective department.

 13. Students who receive academic advising and academic departmental approval to take a Challenge Exam are eligible to take the exam by the end of the current semester, unless the applicant ceases to meet the eligibility requirements.

 14. The grading option for Challenge Exams is satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U). S grades appear on the student’s transcript. U grades do not appear on the student’s transcript.

 15. Credit is not awarded for Challenge Exams in foreign languages not included in Stony Brook’s curriculum.  

 16. The University does not guarantee the availability proctors for every language.  

Information for students enrolled in the Chinese or Japanese or Korean Teacher Preparation Program: Students enrolled in the CHI or JPN or KOR Teacher Preparation Program may earn up to twenty-one (21) Challenge Exam credits. They are exempt from items 4, 7 and 8 noted above, but are not permitted to enroll in CHI 111 or JPN 111 or KOR 111 if they receive Challenge Exam credit for any CHI or JPN or KOR courses at the 112-level or higher. Approval for Challenge Exam courses is required by the respective Language Advisor and the Foreign Language Director.

When are they offered?

Last updated on 09/19/17.



Exam Location: Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, S110

Days/Times: (Choose one of only two)

Sep. 22, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm (Friday)  {DEADLINE TO APPLY IS WEDNESDAY 9/20/17 by 3PM}

Nov. 17, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm (Friday)  {DEADLINE TO APPLY IS WEDNESDAY 11/15/17 by 3PM}


Hindi and Bengali

Exam Location:  Center for India Studies, Melville Library, E-5350 / Phone: 631 632-9742


Nov. 2, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (Thursday)**

Nov. 6, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm (Monday)**

 **Note: These are the only two days the exam can be taken until Spring 2018 


Exam Location: Center for Korean Studies, Melville Library, N5520

Days/Times: (Choose one of only two)

Oct. 17, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (Tuesday)

Nov. 9, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (Thursday)



For more information or to schedule your Challenge Exam, please email or



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