Credit By Exam

Exams for Acceleration

Currently enrolled Bells ISD students may apply for an exam for acceleration.

Students may earn credit for acceleration without prior instruction in the subject area or grade level being tested.  Board policy provides acceleration without prior instruction by grade level in grades K-5 or course credit in grades 6–12 (EHDC Legal).

  • Once an exam for acceleration has been passed, it may not be taken again. 
  • Students may only accelerate in one course per subject per testing window.
  • A student may not attempt to earn credit by examination for a specific high school course more than two times.

Cost of Exams

A student will not be charged for the exam for acceleration; however, if the student registers to test and does not take the exam during the testing window, he/she will be required to pay the cost of the examination.


Dates/Testing Window

Students planning to earn credit by exam must speak to the campus counselor and complete the appropriate registration paperwork.

Testing Window

Deadline to register

Fall 2020

November 4 – 6

October 9

Winter 2021

January 6 – 8

December 4

Spring 2021

April 21 – 23

March 19

Summer 2021

July 20 – 22

June 3




A student who is five years old at the beginning of the school year to be assigned initially to grade 1 rather than kindergarten must meet the following criteria for acceleration:

  1. Scores on tests determined by the district.
  2. Recommendation of the PreK and Kindergarten teacher.
  3. Chronological age and observed social and emotional development of the student.

Board Policy EHDC Legal


1st – 5th Grades

Bells ISD will accelerate a student in grades 1-5 one grade level if the student meets the following requirements:

  1. The student scores 80% or above on a test determined by the district.  The test will cover content in the grade level to be skipped in the following areas:  language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  2. A district representative recommends that the student be accelerated; and
  3. The student’s parent or guardian gives written approval of the acceleration.

Board Policy EHDC Legal


Grades 6-12

Bells ISD shall give a student in grades 6-12 credit for an academic subject in which the student has received no prior instruction if the student scores:

  1. A three or higher on a College Board advanced placement examination that has been approved by the board for the applicable course;
  2. A scaled score of 50 or higher on an examination administered through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and approved by the board for the applicable course; or
  3. 80% or above on a test determined by the district.  The district shall enter the examination score on the student’s transcript and the student is not required to take an EOC assessment for the course.


Bells ISD will use exams developed by the following schools as the criterion-referenced tests for acceleration examinations:

  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Texas
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