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What are Mastery Challenges in Course Mastery?


We’ve heard from teachers that they wanted ​more​ opportunities for their students to review concepts they’d already worked on, rather than “one and done” experience that often involved long gaps between students gaining proficiency in a skill and reviewing it later.

Mastery Challenges highlight opportunities for your students to engage in personalized, spaced repetition of skills they've already practiced. ​Research shows​ that spiraling skills over time and across lessons is a key component to minimizing student learning loss and improving knowledge retention.

Mastery Challenges are a way for your students to review and practice previously-learned skills in a course. It's also another way for learners to level up or down in previously Proficient skills, in addition to Unit Tests and Course Challenges.

Note: You may remember that Missions also had Mastery Challenges; although Mastery Challenges in the Mastery system work differently, they also provide students with spiral review.

Mastery Challenges aren't always available to students; they are unlocked when a student meets the following conditions:

  • They have reached the Familiar level on at least 3 skills
  • They have reached the Proficient level on at least 1 skill, and
  • It's been more than 12 hours since they last started a Mastery Challenge (or they have never started one).

Once unlocked, Mastery Challenges are found on the main Course page of mastery-enabled courses.

Note: Over time, we plan to introduce Mastery Challenges for all mastery-enabled courses. For now, however, Mastery Challenges are only available in Math courses.


Mastery Challenges always consist of 6 questions that review 3 skills. Mastery Challenges are personalized to each student, reviewing skills that the student has worked on across the entire course.

The skills and questions selected in Mastery Challenges are personalized and adapted to each individual learner, based on the time elapsed since the learner last reviewed the skill, and their level of skill mastery.

As stated above, Mastery Challenges review 3 skills in each challenge, devoting 2 questions to each skill:

  • If a student answers both questions correctly, they level up.
  • If a student answers both questions incorrectly, they level down.
  • If a student answers 1 question correctly and 1 question incorrectly, their level remains the same.


Mastery Challenge questions are randomized, so students won't necessarily answer questions for each skill consecutively.

Students don't have to complete a Mastery Challenge in one sitting; once started, students have 12 hours to complete a Mastery Challenge, or the challenge will reset. Students also can only complete one Mastery Challenge per 12-hour period.