9th-12th Grade Guidelines - Exam for Course Acceleration (no prior instruction)
About the Exam
Students in high school are allowed the opportunity to earn credit for individual courses with no prior instruction. This exam for acceleration (EA) is designed for a small percentage of learners who have both the academic and emotional need to advance a course. Students must demonstrate mastery of 80% or higher on an EA to earn credit.
The test formats vary in the number of items, however all tests contain multiple choice, and may contain open response/essay items, and/or have required reading prior to taking the assessment (see review sheets below).
The EA’s purpose is not to inform parents about a student’s academic performance or progress. An EA will not provide information regarding objectives or skills missed. Knowing a score or how many questions a student missed does not help in guiding instruction. Forney ISD assesses students throughout the year with a variety of formative and summative assessments that provide parents with information regarding how a student is performing academically.
If an Exam for Acceleration is passed, your child will be accelerated to the next course in the sequence. If you do not want your student to accelerate or are not sure you want him/her to accelerate, your child should not take an EA.
Students must earn a passing grade on an exam for acceleration for both semesters of a course in order to accelerate to the next course.
Eligibility to Test
- Forney ISD students are only eligible to apply for exams for acceleration of a course for which all prerequisites have been met and in the order of the district's usual course sequence.
- The application for high school course acceleration must be obtained from the campus counselor and completed/submitted on or before the deadline at 3pm. Responses will be sent to the campus counselor and the district testing department.
- All acceleration attempts must occur during district approved testing windows.
- Students may only accelerate in one course per subject per testing window. (Example: a Spanish 1 exam and a Spanish 2 exam cannot be taken in the same testing window)
- A student can only take a specific EA once during any given testing window. Students may not retest for the same subject during the same testing window.
- If a student attempts but does not pass an EA, the student may be eligible (dependent on score) to apply for a retest. If it is determined that a student is eligible, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the application to retest is requested and approved by the deadlines posted on the district testing website. Please discuss with your counselor.
- Per Texas Education Code 74.24(6), a student may not attempt to earn credit by exam for a specific high school course more than two times
- Per Texas Education Code §74.24(7), if a student fails to earn credit by examination (both semesters) for a specific high school course before the beginning of the school year in which the student would ordinarily be required to enroll in that course in accordance with the school district's prescribed course sequence, the student must satisfactorily complete the course to receive credit.
- Placement in a new course will only occur at the start of a school year (or semester for semester courses) regardless of the window in which an exam for acceleration is taken.
- Student may not take an exam for acceleration for a course in which they are currently enrolled
- Once an exam for acceleration has been passed, it may not be taken again.
Requirements to Advance
A student in any of Grades 9-12 must be given credit for an academic subject in which he or she has had no prior instruction if the student scores:
- 80% on any other criterion-referenced test approved by the school district board of trustees for the applicable course.
- A student must earn a passing score on both semesters of the course in which they want to accelerate in order for credit to be earned
- Both semesters must be completed and scored prior to the beginning of the school year or student will be expected to sit in the course as scheduled in the appropriate sequence
- a three or higher on a College Board advanced placement examination that has been approved by the school district board of trustees for the applicable course;
- a scaled score of 50 or higher on an examination administered through the College-Level Examination Program and approved by the school district board of trustees for the applicable course
- All credit-by-exam tests from University of Texas and Texas Tech University are based on grade level Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
- Review guides - counselor will inform you which vendor will be used for your exam for acceleration
- Select correct grade levels and subject
- These review sheets will give information about the format of the test, how to study for the exam and what assignments and additional materials are due at the time of the exam. They do not tell you what to study since the test is based on the grade level and subject TEKS
- University of Texas review guides
- TTU Review sheets
Score Reporting and Course Credit
Results will be sent to the principal and counselor of the school where the student is registered. The campus will contact you directly regarding your student’s test results and recommendations will be discussed. The testing office will not give out any information regarding the results of the exam for acceleration testing.
- Appeal of the testing results will not be available.
- After successful completion of a CBE or an EA taken for high school credit, the numerical score earned will be posted to the student’s high school transcript and the student will earn high school credit. The transcripted credit will not be calculated into the student’s grade point average (GPA) for ranking purposes. Scores below the required minimum for credit will not be posted.
- Students are not allowed to forfeit credit earned via exam for acceleration. Once credit is earned, students cannot sit in the course for any reason, including for local credit or because of low performance in the subsequent course.
- EA transcripts will be uploaded into the student’s Skyward portfolio as an attachment.
- Depending on the testing vendor, scoring may take 4 to 6 weeks.
Exam for Acceleration (EA) - While there is no charge to parents when students take an EA, there is a cost to the district for both the test and occasionally the proctor who monitors the exam as it is given. Therefore, please carefully consider availability during the testing window before completing the application and gather input from educators and/or counselors to determine whether or not acceleration is in the best interest of the student. If a student does not take the exam(s) for which s/he is registered, the district will not assume the cost for the student to register again for the same exam. In this case, the parent/guardian will be required to pay for the exam(s) before the exam(s) will be ordered.
- Course sequence - There is NO guarantee that the next course in the sequence will be available at either the home campus or another campus. If that course is available on another campus, district transportation will not be provided.
- Social maturity – When advancing a course, your child’s social and emotional maturity may not match the maturity level of the other students in the course.
- Student desire- A student should have the desire and drive to accelerate and maintain the workload of the higher level class.
- Teacher/counselor recommendation- Teachers and counselors see your student on a daily basis and may be able to provide additional information regarding whether or not acceleration would be appropriate.
- Course opportunities later in high school- In some situations, accelerating now may put your child in a position where he/she is limited in course options as a high school junior or senior. Make sure you are clear on the ultimate goal of acceleration, Early Graduation, Associate’s degree, other (discuss with your counselor)
- Students are required to have 26 credits in order to graduate, and are required to be on campus a minimum of 5 class periods a day during senior year for attendance funding. If a student is not planning to graduate early, acceleration may put the student ahead of schedule for those 26 credits and end up taking classes senior year that will not count for credit.
FAQ for course acceleration - COMING SOON
Course acceleration flow chart