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Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive exams are given once each fall and spring semester. The fall exam is given the last Saturday in September, and the spring exam is given the last Saturday in February.

Initial Licensure Track: Elem/Middle School

Licensed Track: Elem/Middle School

Secondary Exam Documents

To be posted

Reading Exam Documents

To be posted

Library Science Exam Documents

If you are seeking a master's degree in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, you are required to complete successfully a written comprehensive examination. Each program in the department (Secondary, PreK-6, library science, middle school, MCTP, field-based and reading) has special requirements. Applications are due in the ECI office at least 30 days before the date of the examination.

This examination contains questions that cover the competencies that are found in courses throughout the professional education curriculum. For superior work, the reviewers will be looking for content that is comprehensive and reveals knowledge of and treatment of various perspectives on the subject. The content should also be well written and should reflect graduate-level quality (e.g., clear, concise, proper grammar, syntax, spelling and marks of punctuation).

Based upon your program, there are specific requirements for the examination. If available, links are included to specific comprehensive exam information for programs. If you wish to complete the exam using a computer, you must request one with your application. A request does not guarantee that you will be able to use a computer to complete your examination.

Administrative Procedures:

On the day of the examination, you must appear at the examination center by 8:15 a.m. and must have a photo identification. At that time, you will be assigned a number which you should use throughout the exam. Books and/or other materials must be left at the front of the room. The faculty administering the examination will have dictionaries available for you to use. They will also provide the blue books that are needed. If you have received permission to take your examination on computer, you will need to bring a blank disk with you. When taking the exam, you should place only your number on the outside of the blue book or at the heading of the print-out. Please use a separate blue book or print-out for each question. When you are finished with each question, you should place the question inside the blue book with your answer or attach it to the print-out of your response.

You must submit your answers by the assigned time.

Evaluation Procedures:

Consult your program's specific comprehensive exam information website for information about the evaluation of your exam. If you fail the comprehensive examination, you may elect to repeat the examination process in accordance with the university procedure the next time that the examination is offered. Following the initial administration, you are limited, by university policy, to one (1) reexamination. If you fail the written comprehensive examination twice, you will not be able to receive the master's degree.

Suggestions for Success:

The following are some suggestions that other students have found helpful when studying for the comprehensive examination.

1. Most students perform better when they don't try to memorize the answers verbatim. You may waste valuable time and become anxious when you cannot retrieve a specific word or phrase. Instead, you may want to outline each answer including the key points and examples.

2. Some students prefer to practice their responses in a bluebook or to conduct a mock exam (i.e., put all of the questions in a hat, pull out two and answer them, take a break and then pull out two more). The more familiar you are with the process, the more comfortable and less anxious you will become.

3. You might want to contact other students and have a study group to review the information that will be covered in the examination. Individual students can be responsible for reviewing two or three of the questions in the database and leading a discussion of that question with the whole study group.

4. The quality of your written presentation is critical to your success. Be sure your answer is well formulated and that the mechanics are free of errors (e.g., punctuation, spelling, grammar, and syntax). Dictionaries and thesauruses will be available for your use.

5. On the day of the exam, plan to use your time carefully so that you can answer the questions fully and completely in the allotted time. Be sure to allow enough time to proofread and edit each answer. Every semester someone runs out of time and fails to complete an answer. Don't let it be you!

6. Be sure to read the question carefully and answer each component of each question.

7. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and have a good breakfast before taking the exam (sound familiar??).