Credit for Challenge Exams

Earn college credit for taking and passing a CNM created, challenge exam.
The Assessment Center is currently offering exams both remotely and in-person at Main Campus on a limited basis. To schedule your exam please visit the Assessment Center web page or call (505) 224-3243. 

CNM challenge exams are available to applicants and currently enrolled students who wish to establish CNM credit for their prior learning by testing out of a course. Challenge exams are created by CNM Faculty and are equivalent to a comprehensive final.


There is a $25.00 non-refundable processing fee for challenge exams. You may pay the processing fee for challenge exams offered in the Assessment Center at the Cashier's Office or online at the CNM CPL Store

Transferability of Challenge Exam Credit

Although CNM accepts challenge exam credit, this does not guarantee that other institutions will do so. Students are encouraged to contact the school to which they intend to transfer in order to verify whether or not credit earned by a CNM challenge exam will be accepted.

The following restrictions apply to all CNM Challenge Exams:

  • To request a challenge exam, you must be a current CNM student.
  • You may attempt a challenge exam only once per course.
  • A grade of credit (CR) will be recorded for the appropriate CNM course upon successfully passing the challenge exam, during the term that the exam was taken.
  • Courses successfully challenged count toward both program and graduation residency requirements.
  • The academic school that offers the class will determine if a challenge exam will be created when one does not already exist.
  • If a standardized exam is available, the school that offers the course may choose not to create a challenge exam. Please check the list of CLEP and DSST exams to see if one is available before requesting a challenge exam.
  • If the School approves and develops a challenge exam, you will be responsible for paying the non-refundable fee of $25.00 prior to taking the exam.

Challenge exams that are currently available are listed below by the academic school and the name of the CNM course. Other exams may be available on a case-by-case basis. See below for more information on requesting a new challenge exam.

Challenge Exams Offered in the Academic School

Students need to obtain prior approval to take the following challenge exams. These exams are scheduled with the academic school that offers them. Please click on the name of the appropriate school below to submit a request to take one of these exams. If the request is approved, you will be responsible for paying the non-refundable fee of $25.00 at the Cashier's Office and providing proof of payment at the time of the exam. 

School of Skilled Trades and Arts

  • CAD 1001 - Basics of CAD (Once approved, you may pay online at the CPL Store)

School of Business, Hospitality & Technology

  • OTEC 1101 - Keyboarding (3 Cr)Students will be tested on speed and accuracy of their typing. A minimum of 40 words per minute is required.

To take this exam:

  1. Complete the BHT Challenge Exam Form to request to take the OTEC 1101 challenge exam.
  2. Once you receive approval, submit your payment online at the CPL Store.
  3. The school will contact you to schedule a time and place to take the exam.

Challenge Exams Offered in the CNM Assessment Centers

Students who wish to take one of the following challenge exams do not need prior approval to take them. Simply pay the $25.00 non-refundable fee at the Cashier's Office or online at the CPL Store and take the receipt to the Assessment Center to take the exam.

Click on the course name to find out more about the exam.

School of Business, Hospitality & Technology

School of Health, Wellness, and Public Safety

School of Math, Science & Engineering

Request for a New Challenge Exam to be Created

You don't see a standardized exam or a challenge exam available for the course for which you would like to earn credit? Make a request for one to be developed!

Students may request for a challenge exam to be developed when one does not already exist. All requests must abide by the restrictions listed above. Make sure to review the restrictions before submitting your request. Please note that if your request is approved, you will be responsible for paying the non-refundable fee of $25.00 at the Cashier's Office. Online payments are not available for these exams.

To submit a request for a new challenge exam:

  1. Verify that there is not an available exam to take through CNM by reviewing the challenge exams listed above and the standardized exam policies listed on the Credit for Standardized Exams website
  2. If you do not see an available exam for the course for which you would like to earn credit, submit your request through the Contact Us link for the school that offers the course. Links to the school websites are below. Make sure you have the course abbreviation, course number, and title. In addition, please include the reason for requesting the exam, such as how your prior learning has prepared you for taking it.

You should be notified by CNM e-mail within 10 business days whether or not a challenge exam will be developed.