FAQs and Contact Information

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What role does Student Testing Services play within the university?

Student Testing Services is responsible for:

  • Coordinating the university's testing programs
  • Administering tests for credit and placement
  • Reporting petitions for credit to the registrar
  • Serving as a testing center for many world-wide exam programs including CLEP, GRE, and others

Our office does not handle credit by exam for K-12 students. All inquiries related to K-12 CBE should be directed to UT High School.

How can I contact Student Testing Services for information about testing or policies?

Call 512-232-2662, email us at studenttesting@austin.utexas.edu, or visit our office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where is Student Testing Services located on campus?

We are located in the George I. Sánchez Building (SZB), at 1912 Speedway. The building is located at the end of Speedway, across the street from the Blanton Museum of Art to the east, the Bullock State History Museum to the south, and the University Avenue Church of Christ to the west. On the UT Austin campus map you can find us here. Our office is on the 5th floor in suite 5.102.

I have a documented disability and need accommodations. What do I need to do to register for an exam?

If you require academic accommodations or assistance due to a documented disability, contact these two offices at least five business days before the day of the test:

  • Disability and Access (D&A), at ssd@austin.utexas.edu to seek approval for authorized accommodations. You can learn more about registering your accommodations on the D&A website.
  • Student Testing Services at 512-232-7593 to register and make arrangements to take the test.
  • Additional information about taking exams through our office can be found here.

Does it cost money to take tests through your office?

Yes. Although the non-refundable registration fee is the same for each test, the test fee itself can vary. To find out the total cost of the test you are interested in taking, visit the test description page or contact the Student Testing Services office.

AP Scores

I heard that there have been some changes to credit by exam from AP tests. Why were these changes made?

In 2015 the Texas Legislature passed a law (HB 1992) that affects the way that public colleges and universities award credit for AP tests.  The intent was to increase access to college credit and improve retention and graduation rates for students across the state by requiring credit for AP scores of 3 or higher.

What has changed?

The changes vary by AP exam.  In some cases, the score range for receiving credit was lowered.  For example, you can receive credit for PSY 301 if you scored a 3 on the AP Psychology exam, which required a score of 4 or 5 previously. 

In other cases, the course for which you will receive credit has changed.  And in other cases, nothing has changed.  In every case, we believe that the new policies provide the best way for your hard work in AP classes to contribute to your success here at UT.

Where can I find out more about the changes that UT has made?

You can see a complete list of UT Austin courses, AP exams, and score ranges here.

When will these changes take effect?

These changes will begin with credit claimed in Summer 2016.  If you petition to claim the credit on or after May 1, 2016, the new courses and score requirements will apply.

Do these changes apply only to students who are freshmen during the 2016-2017 academic year?

No, these changes will apply to all students who claim credit beginning in Summer 2016 regardless of when they first enrolled at UT Austin. 

When should I claim credit for my AP exams?

It is always best to discuss your credit by exam options with your advisor.  S/he can help you make the most informed decision about how to best use credit by exam taking into account the specific requirements of your degree program.

What if I already claimed credit? Can I change my claim?

If you have already claimed credit, it has been written to your student record and cannot be changed.  However, for students who scored a 4 or 5, there have been very few changes: in almost all cases the course you can receive credit for is unchanged under the new policies.

Placement and Credit by Exam Information

Why are placement tests helpful?

UT Austin and its schools, colleges, and departments use the results of placement tests to position students in the courses most appropriate for their proficiency levels.

Are there exemptions for placement tests?

Yes. In some cases, students with qualifying scores from AP, SAT Subject, CLEP, or IB exams or with transfer or dual credit may be exempt from certain placement tests. For more information on exemptions, contact the Student Testing Services office.

What are the reasons to earn credit by examination (CBE)?

There are many reasons to consider earning credit by examination, including:

  • Having prior knowledge of an area, like being a native speaker of a foreign language
  • Having proven your skills at the college-level, for example, on an AP test
  • Financial reasons, since tests can be cheaper than taking the actual course
  • Freeing up your schedule in order to study abroad or double major
  • Satisfying general degree requirements for introductory and/or prerequisite courses

Is credit earned by examination the same as credit earned by taking a course?

Credit earned by examination satisfies degree requirements in the same way as credit earned by taking a course, except that it does not count as credit earned in residence. The credit will be recorded as credit only on your transcript, with the symbol CR.

What level of performance is considered passing for credit by exam?

To earn course credit by taking an exam, you must demonstrate that your knowledge is equivalent to that of students who complete the corresponding UT Austin course with at least a grade of a C-.

What happens if my test score is not high enough to qualify me for credit?

Ineligible test scores will not appear on your final transcript.

May I take a test for a course that is not listed on the Student Testing Services website?

With the approval of the appropriate academic dean and department chair or program director, a student may take an examination in any undergraduate course offered by the University for which they have reason to feel qualified. A candidate may apply to take a Department Administered Exam (DAE) only after registering as a student at the University. Exams are given at the discretion of the administering department. A student who earns a satisfactory score will receive credit for the course.

Department Administered Exam (DAE) forms for course exams are available from the Student Testing Services office. A student who intends to apply for a Department Administered Exam should obtain a copy of the syllabus for the course or courses for which they are interested; only students who have the equivalent in knowledge or training of that presented in the outline should apply for the exam.

Test Registration Information

How and when can I sign up to take a test?

Some tests are offered on a monthly basis, whereas other tests are offered at specific times during the school year. For general testing periods for a specific test, either visit the test description page of the test you are interested in or contact the Student Testing Services office.

I want to sign up for a test, but there is not a test date listed on the test schedule. How and when can I sign up?

Our test schedule only reflects one month’s test dates at a time.There may not be a date listed for the test you are interested in either because the test has already happened for the month or because the testing period in which the test is offered has not yet arrived. Usually at the end of the current month, the next month’s test dates will be posted (e.g., at the end of January, the February test dates will appear). Once a day and time become available through the test schedule for the test you are planning to take, you will be able to register yourself online for that exam. Unfortunately, we are unable to register you for a test before the date is available through the test schedule.

How do I cancel a Test Registration?

Once you have completed online registration for a test, you may return to the website at any time to cancel or change your registration. However, you will still be billed the non-refundable registration fee.

How do I get a refund if I decide not to take a test?

You will not be charged the test fee if you don’t sit for the test, but you will still be charged the non-refundable registration fee.

Am I allowed to retake tests?

It depends. Although most of the tests that are given on campus can only be taken once, there are a few that can be retaken. For more information, visit the test description page of the test you are interested in or contact the Student Testing Services office.

Petitioning for Credit

Why must I petition to have my credit recorded?

Credits earned by examination will not automatically appear on your transcript. For each course in which you have earned credit by examination, you must petition in order to have the credit hours written to your official transcript.

How do I petition to have my credit recorded?

You must petition online to have your credit reported to the registrar; the Student Testing Services staff cannot do so for you. No credit by examination will appear on your official transcript until you petition online for Student Testing Services to report it to the registrar.

When can I expect my credits to show up on my transcript?

If you are an entering freshman and have not yet started coursework, any credits that you petition for will not show up on your transcript until the first day of class. For current and former students, petitioned credits are reported to the Office of the Registrar on the first workday of each week (Monday, unless there is a holiday) at 1 a.m. and written to your transcript the following workday (Tuesday, unless there is a holiday).

Is there a fee for petitioning?

The petition fee is $10 per credit hour, due within 14 days. There are three ways that you can pay:

  • Online through your What I Owe page
  • In person at the Bursar’s Office located in the Main Building, Room 8
  • By mail to the Bursar’s Office, University of Texas at Austin, P.O. Box 7398, Austin, TX 78713-7398.

I went to petition for a course, but my scores aren’t on my Test Results page. What should I do?

Student Testing Services must receive an official score report from the testing agency that provided the examination. If you have not previously sent your scores in to UT Austin, visit the Sending Scores page for information on how to do so.If you have sent your scores in to UT Austin, either call or come by the Student Testing Services office to speak with an advisor. If possible, have your copy of the official score report available for the advisor.

I petitioned for credit that I do not need. Is there any way I can have it removed from my transcript?

While it is possible to stop a petition that has not been reported to the Office of the Registrar, credits that are written to your transcript are considered permanent. If you have petitioned for credits that you do not need or want, contact the Student Testing Services office immediately to find out what options are available to you.

Summer Orientation (for incoming freshmen and transfer students)

What tests should I take at orientation?

Not everyone needs to take all of the placement tests that are offered at orientation—it often depends on a number of factors, including your major, what tests you have taken, and what kind of credits you have obtained from other colleges through transfer work or dual-credit. To find out which tests are most appropriate for you, either contact the Student Testing Services office or speak with your academic advisor during your orientation session.

How do I register for tests at orientation?

There are two primary ways to register for orientation tests:

When you register in either of these manners, you will not be charged for the test until after you take it.

I signed up through the orientation website for tests that I don’t need. What should I do?

If you are still able to access your orientation selections through the New Student Services orientation website, you are welcome to cancel your test registration through the “Making Changes to Your Reservation” link. If you no longer have access to the orientation system, you do not need to worry about trying to cancel your test registration. As long as you registered through the orientation website for our tests, you have not yet been charged any testing fees. Students are only charged for a test after they take them, so if you do not show up for the test for which you registered, you will not be charged for it.

When and how should I plan on paying for my orientation tests?

If you registered for a test through the orientation website or in person with Student Testing Services, you will be charged for any testing fees after you sit for the test. You will have up to two weeks to pay for these charges. There are three ways that you can pay:

  • Online through your What I Owe page
  • In person at the Bursar’s Office located in the Main Building, Room 8
  • By mail to the Bursar’s Office, University of Texas at Austin, P.O. Box 7398, Austin, TX 78713-7398

Other Types of Tests and Credit

How do I get credit for my transfer and/or dual-credit courses?

Contact the Transfer Admissions Office at 512-475-7399 for information about all incoming credit from other colleges and universities.

Where can I take tests in order to earn credit by examination at the elementary, middle, or high school level?

Our office does not handle CBE for K-12 students. Contact UT High School (UTHS) for all information and inquiries related to K-12 CBE here.

Where do I take the GED?

GED testing information is available through the GED - Texas Education Agency website.

Where can I find more information for online college courses?

Contact the University Extension (UEX) office: call 512-471-2900 or visit the University Extension website.

Where can I find a proctor for test-taking required by another institution?

Contact the Public Testing Center: call (512) 471-0222 or visit their website

How can I be exempt from the TSI Assessment?

Contact the office of the Texas Success Initiative for all TSI questions. Call 512-232-7146 or visit the Texas Success Initiative website.

Where can I take an IQ test?

Contact a private psychologist.

Where can I receive career testing?

UT Austin students may take aptitude tests for guidance in choice of major and career through the Sanger Learning & Career Center.