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1080 Winslow Avenue, Coquitlam, BC, V3J 0M6| Phone: 604-939-9201| Contact Us
School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
Learning for a Lifetime
Course Challenge, Equivalency and External Credentials

​​The purpose of students earning credits through Challenge, Equivalency and External Credentials is to obtain credit toward graduation for learning that has occurred beyond the scope of regular schooling and which meets or exceeds the provincial standards for course completion.

Students and parents are expected to work with the appropriate teachers and the school counselor to access the information and processes referred to below.  Where students or parents have concerns that are not resolved with the teacher or counselor, the school principal will assist in working through the concerns.  Parents or students with concerns regarding Challenge, Equivalency or other related curricular matters are expect to follow Administrative Procedure 380 – Resolution of Student or Parent School Concerns.



The purpose of Challenge is to permit students to obtain credit for a Grade 10, 11 or 12 course for which the student has already acquired the appropriate learning elsewhere. All students are entitled to request an opportunity to challenge a course for credit. Students who request the opportunity to challenge a course must be able to give strong and compelling evidence that they will succeed in the challenge and that it is in their best interests. A successful challenge results in a student receiving credit for the appropriate content as well as a school mark.

It is a strong recommendation, given the mature level of understanding required in the challenge activities, that students challenge the grade 11 course while they are in grade 10 and not before. Students would ordinarily be in grade 11 when they apply to challenge a grade 12 course, allowing them to take the course in grade 12 if they are unsuccessful with the Challenge.

Challenge provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate that they have satisfied the learning outcomes of a course in the Graduation Program and to enable them to earn credits without taking the course. It is anticipated that Challenge will be necessary and appropriate in only exceptional circumstances.

The process of Challenge is meant to be rigorous, maintaining the integrity of the curriculum and the standards of a quality education. It is intended for students of exceptional ability or for those who have had exceptional opportunities for learning through some special circumstance.

Challenge is not envisioned as a way for students to improve their course marks, or as a replacement for the valuable experience of learning in a classroom setting.

Challenge is intended to acknowledge student learning so that students do not have to participate in courses, which would be repetitive for them. It also allows students to broaden their high school program by selecting additional courses or to enrich their lives in other ways, such as pursuing personal passions in the Fine Arts or Athletics.

Students should show their readiness to challenge a course by demonstrating:

  • exceptional ability related to the course WITHOUT any documentation to support equivalency being assigned;
  • knowledge, understanding and skills equivalent to the prescribed learning outcomes for the course; and
  • evidence that utilizing the Challenge option is in the student's best interests.


The Language Challenge Exam

Students wishing to challenge a language course must write a Language Challenge Exam.

Students must complete an application on-line, print it, and bring the completed application form to their school counselor. School counsellor will review the application to see if the student is eligible.

A $50 cheque (which will be refunded when the test is written) must be included with the application. International students must include a cheque for $165 which is non-refundable.  All students need to attach a passport type photo.

Completed application forms must be given to the counsellor by the fall deadline for approval. More details will be sent to applicatns at a later date.

Please refer to the Delta School District Challenge Exams Website for more information.



Equivalency refers to documented Prior Learning.  It applies to grade 10, 11, or 12 Ministry-developed or board/authority authorized course from an educational jurisdiction or institution outside the BC school system. Students who have completed equivalent coursework elsewhere may apply to have that coursework recognized for credit by the School District No. 43 ( Coquitlam).   The course work must match 80% of the B.C. curriculum.  There is no limit to the number of credits students may be awarded through Equivalency.



External Credits refer to Ministry-approved documented prior learning.  An official list of External Credits approved by the Ministry is provided to schools on an annual basis.  Some external credentials are classified as required course and others as elective courses.  External credits cannot be granted for courses required for graduation.  There is no limit to the number of credits a student may earn by using the external credentials. However, there may be credit restrictions between credentials where the external courses or programs are deemed to be equivalent.

For more information about students earning credits through Challenge, Equivalency and External Credentials please refer to the information in the Ministry of Education website.

School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

1080 Winslow Avenue, Coquitlam BC
V3J 0M6
604-939-9201 604-939-7828