Skip to main content

Scandinavian Studies

Challenge Exams

Challenge Exams are for students who arrive at BYU with significant experience in the language but are not native speakers.

Students can receive up to 16 graded credit hours. The Challenge Exams in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish are specific to and administered by the Scandinavian Studies program.

Step 1: Enroll in the 330* course for your Scandinavian language or 202 in the case of Icelandic. (Note: the 321 courses have been changed to 330. You may not take 330 if you have previously taken 321.)
Step 2: Ensure that you meet the qualifications and rules below.
Step 3: Tell the instructor that you will be taking the Challenge Exam. CHECK YOUR BYU EMAIL ADDRESS as that is the only way you will receive the instructions for the exam.
Step 4: Request the exam on the BYU Challenge Exams website during the registration period and pay the $20 non-refundable fee. 
Step 5: Take all 5 sections of the exam (speaking, reading, writing, listening, and grammar) in the Humanities Testing Lab. Please read the instructions you receive by email.

After the semester is completed and you have received at least a C grade in the 330 course (or Icelandic 202), you will receive an email stating your Challenge Exam grades for 101, 102, 201, and 211R. It is not possible to test out of 202. You can accept or decline the grades and only the grades you accept will appear on your transcript. You have one year from the date of the Y-message email to accept or decline your grades.

Qualifications and rules for taking a Challenge Exam in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Swedish:

  • You must be enrolled for credit in the current semester of 330 (202 for Icelandic). See here for when courses are offered. 
  • You must not have previously taken the Challenge Exam in your language.
  • You must not have completed high school in a Scandinavian language-speaking country.
  • You must not be a native speaker of the Scandinavian language you would like to take the Challenge Exam in. 
  • If you are a native speaker of Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, you may not take the Challenge Exam in any of those languages. Similarly, if you are a second language speaker of Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, you may only take the Challenge Exam in ONE of those languages.
  • You will not receive credit or a grade for courses previously taken for credit. (For example, if you took 201 for credit, you will not receive a CE grade for that course.)
  • FlexGE students are eligible to take Challenge Exams.

The FLATS test can be taken instead of the Challenge Exam and produces 12 credits of pass/fail. See link for details. This test is not administered by Scandinavian Studies, but by the BYU Office of Digital Humanities.

If you have questions about the Challenge Exams, contact Language Coordinator Maren Mecham at

*Current 330 courses were formerly called 321. The course is the same.