Assessment Approval and Retake Policy

When assessments are developed by WGU, the right of students to retake assessment are included with information disseminated to WGU staff and students. Given that not all assessment activities are of the same type, nor do they cover similar content or assess similar levels/types of learning, the rules referring to retakes vary from one assessment to another as follows:




The student's program mentor will only approve the taking of an objective assessment if the student has completed a preassessment. Not all objective assessments have a preassessment; this requirement is waived for those that do not. Students are allowed to attempt preassessments a maximum of three times.


Objective Assessments:


Attempts on all objective assessments including outside vendor assessments are limited to four attempts. Prior to retaking an assessment, students must consult with their course instructor to develop an intervening learning resource experience. An intervening learning resource experience may focus on study, a recurring appointment with a course instructor, engagement in the course of study, engagement in weekly webinars, or other appropriate educational activities.

First attempt approvals can be completed by either the program mentor or an Assessment Services specialist if the preassessment has been completed within seven days prior to the approval request and the student has had mentor engagement and communication in the last 14 days. Approval for a first attempt at a third-party assessment needs to be completed by the program mentor.

Note: Assessment Services specialists are unable to approve first attempts for students in the Bachelor of Science, Nursing Prelicensure program. See the Prelicensure Nursing Program Assessment and Retake Policy for more information.

Second attempts require the approval of the appropriate course instructor for the assessment. Attempts three and beyond require a minimum five-day waiting period, course instructor and additional supervisory approvals, and are only granted after student engagement standards are met. After a failed fourth attempt, an appeal for an additional attempt may be submitted to senior leadership in Mentoring, but it is unlikely that an appeal will be approved except in extreme circumstances. If the appeal for an additional attempt is denied, a student must either change to a different WGU degree program not requiring that assessment or seek educational opportunities outside of WGU.


Performance Assessments:


WGU performance assessments are most often completed within the Taskstream assessment platform. A performance assessment typically includes individual tasks that, when combined, demonstrate competency for a larger assessment. Note that all assessments, regardless of delivery platform (Taskstream, Web Assessor, etc.), are formal testing processes, not exercises or "homework.” Thorough preparation for all assessments is recommended as it facilitates more timely progress toward graduation. Assessment validity is ensured when students spend the time preparing their submission that is commensurate with the complexity and challenge of the task. Each assessment must represent at least 70% original student work, demonstrating their own competence and no one else’s, whether other sources are used and properly cited or not.

WGU uses a variety of means to ensure submission of original work, including but not limited to, faculty expertise and technology tools such as While such determinations are made in the context of each submission, generally speaking, submitted work should be at least 70% original to a student.

Submissions determined to lack originality will not be evaluated for content but will count toward the submission limit. Students are given the opportunity to submit each task in a performance assessment a maximum of four times (first submission, plus three resubmissions). After four submissions for the same task, students need to demonstrate substantial engagement with additional resources to increase their preparation (e.g., with learning resources) and engage with a course instructor before the task is released for revision and resubmission. If students do not pass performance assessments by the end of the term, they will receive a Not Passed on their degree plan and transcript. It is, therefore, in a student’s best interest, to utilize the course of study and submit early in a term to enable additional submissions should their first attempt not pass. The time between task submission and the evaluation is longer toward the end of each month and at peak times, such as in advance of demonstration teaching audits in teacher licensure programs and near graduation deadlines. Students should plan accordingly.  

Third-Party Assessments:


Many assessments are published by third parties. In addition to WGU's limit of four attempts, the right of students to retake assessments is determined by the requirements associated with the third-party exam. Students unsure of the specific approval and retake policy in effect should contact their program mentor for clarification. Students are strongly encouraged to take practice or sample assessments where they are available, reflect upon their related learning experiences and abilities, and consult with their program mentor on appropriate learning resource use before seeking approval to take a third-party assessment. Students may be able to engage in an assessment but cannot complete an exam for credit outside of their term from a third party.  WGU does not accept transfer credit from a third party assessment if earned while enrolled at WGU.


Retake Fees:


Students seeking business, teacher education, or health professions degrees are charged a $60 retake fee for third and subsequent attempts at objective assessments. Students must pay retake fees when their next tuition payment is due. Federal financial aid does not cover these re-take fees. See Assessment Retake Fee for additional details. Voucher payments are required before these objective assessments are released to the student.

 Students seeking information technology degrees are required to pay for an assessment voucher to retake the third and subsequent attempts at an assessment.









Article Number: 20374, 1057

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