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COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONGeneral Information
Most students in the MA program will enroll in English 690: Comprehensive Examination as their exit requirement. The Comprehensive Examination contains questions from any of the 12 Fields in which the students have not had classes.
Because students may have as many as five incomplete fields, they will have to prepare themselves in all five for the examination. Students who wish to reduce the number of fields that they have to prepare for may take additional classes. One highly beneficial way that students may reduce the number of fields they have to prepare for is to complete the requirements for the Certificate in Writing.
The exam may contain from one to three questions depending on the number of fields in which the students do not have classes. The exact number of questions on the exam is stipulated below:
Number of Incomplete Fields Number of Exam Questions
For example, if students have not had classes in three fields, they will receive three questions on the test, one from each incomplete field. If students have not had classes in five fields, they will still receive three questions, but they will not know which three fields they will be tested on until the day of the examination, meaning that they will have to prepare for all five fields.
To prepare for the examination, students must study the all the items on the MA Reading List under the fields in which they have not had classes. Students may take the Comprehensive Examination twice. Students who need to take the examination a second time will receive questions only in those fields they failed on the first examination.
Students who wish to take English 690: Comprehensive Examination as their exit requirement must adhere to the procedure below and abide by all stated deadlines.
• Students must notify the Graduate Coordinator at least two quarters before they intend taking the comprehensive examination.
• The Graduate Coordinator will examine the students’ files and identify the fields in which they may receive a question.
• The Graduate Coordinator will identify the readers for the examination and solicit questions from them.
• Students study the relevant items in the MA Reading List.
• Students enroll in English 690 for the quarter that they wish to take the examination.
• The exam may not be later than the eighth week of the quarter. The Graduate Coordinator will arrange the time and place for the
• The Graduate Coordinator will distribute the answers to the designated readers and receive grades back from them no later than
one week after administering the examination.
• The Graduate Coordinator will send a letter to the students informing them of their scores on each question.
• Note: Students who do not take classes in one or more quarters before the examination, should enroll in English 700 through Extended University to maintain current enrollment and library privileges.