Challenge Exams

The Business Technology Department administers an exam for courses related to many Madison College programs for students to gain advanced standing. To sign up for an exam, click the link below based upon your primary campus:
You must show a photo ID to take challenge exams.

Students may schedule an exam for any Wednesday or Thursday or by appointment during the school year.  At this time, challenge exams are not offered in-person at the regional campuses.  Therefore students at those campuses need to follow the same procedure as online students.

*Online and regional students, see Online Administrative Professional Challenge Exam Form for exam dates.

** Please arrive at least 2 hours prior to the lab closing time to allow sufficient time to complete the exam.

***Please note the SAM Registration directions below.

Note: If you were admitted into the Administrative Professional, Medical Administrative Specialist, or Business Software Applications Specialist program in fall 2013 or later, you are required to take the 3-credit comprehensive software courses. These courses include Business Document Applications, Business Presentations and Publications, Business Software Applications, and Business Information Management. In addition, no challenge exams are available for these courses.

Challenge Exams are Available for the Following Courses:

All Microsoft Office challenge exams will be given using version 2013 of the software.

10-103-123 Windows 7*
10-103-122 Windows 8*
10-103-137 Beginning Word*
10-103-143 PowerPoint Beginning*
10-103-133 Beginning Excel*
10-103-145 Beginning Access*
10-103-136 Intermediate Word*
10-103-139 Intermediate Excel*
10-103-125 Intermediate Access*
10-103-126 Advanced Word*
10-103-132 Advanced Excel*  
10-103-128 PowerPoint Intermediate*
10-103-165 Outlook
10-103-140 Publisher  
10-106-101 Introduction to Keyboarding
10-106-139 Keyboard Skillbuilding
10-106-164 Customer Contact Skills
10-106-165 Medical Administrative Procedures
10-106-182 Information Technology Concepts
10-106-108 Proofreading and Editing
10-106-133 Word Processing Applications
10-103-168 Dreamweaver
10-106-178 Medical Language for Business Professionals 1
10-106-179 Medical Language for Business Professionals 2
10-804-123 Math with Business Applications


* SAM 2013 Printed Access Card required. See SAM 2013 Printed Access Card instructions.


  1. The student completes the Challenge Exam Request Form. It gets submitted to the Business Open Lab, Truax, Room D3610A. The deadline to submit a request form is the Friday before the scheduled exam date.
  2. Students will need to purchase a SAM (Skills Assessment Manager) card from the Madison College Bookstore for the Microsoft software challenge exams. A separate SAM card must be purchased for each student; however, cards can be used for additional Microsoft challenge exams. Two hours have been allotted to complete most exams. Therefore, if the exam requires a SAM 2013 Printed Access Card, please purchase it before the scheduled test date and set it up on your own following the SAM 2013 Printed Access Card instructions or arrive ten minutes early for the exam to get it set up. You can call the Madison College bookstore at 1.800.322.6282 ext. 6016 to purchase a SAM card for approximately $22; they are not available on the website.
  3. For exams taken at the Truax campus, arrive at the Business Lab, room D3610A, at least 5 minutes before the start time of the challenge exam. For other locations, please see the respective form for that campus's testing location.
  4. Exam results will be sent to the student and the Enrollment Office by the Business Open Lab Coordinator. Advanced standing (credit) will be granted as appropriate.
  5. If you registered for a challenge exam session but can't attend, please contact the Business Open Lab at (608) 243-4019 at least 24 hours in advance so that your spot may be offered to another student.
  6. The student cannot be enrolled in the course during the semester/quarter in which the challenge exam is taken.  Students may not take a challenge exam for a course that they previously failed.  No challenge exam will be offered to a student who drops the course after this time frame or in a previous quarter.
  7. A challenge exam is for a specific course and may be taken one time only. If a passing score is not achieved, the student will need to complete the course if it is required for his/her program.
  8. The Business Technology office reserves the right to deny Challenge Exam requests if guidelines and/or procedures are not met. If you have any questions, please contact businesslab@madisoncollege.edu at Truax.

SAM 2013 Printed Access Card Registration Instructions
Required for Challenge Exams in Windows 7 & 8, Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint.

Before taking the challenge exam complete ALL of the following:

  1. Purchase a SAM 2013 Printed Access Card at the Madison College bookstore.(1-800-322-6282 Ext. 6016)
  2. Register your preliminary information.
  3. Open the SAM 2013 Printed Access Card.
  4. Follow the directions printed inside the pamphlet:

    Go to the SAM2013 website: http://sam.cengage.com/Login

    CLICK on the new user button--The Institution Key for Madison College is T2086055. You will find your SAM System Key printed on the SAM card on the inside of the pamphlet; it must be keyed in EXACTLY as printed.

    BUILD your SAM Profile--Enter you first name, last name, a 6-10 character password of your choice, and email address. Your UserID will be your email address. The alias and ID# entries are optional.

    Write down your user name and password on the SAM card located in the lower right corner of the inside of the pamphlet before exiting the SAM program.

    At this point your SAM account is ready for the challenge exam. The test proctor will add you to the correct course at the testing site.

    If you have questions/problems setting up the SAM profile or joining the proper section, come about 10 minutes early to the exam so that the test administrator can assist you. If you fail to set up the profile or join the proper section before the exam time, you will have less time available to complete the exam during the testing session.