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Master of Education in Adult Education

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is the required exit examination for the Adult Education Program. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned. It is not a test over one particular course or set of information. Rather, it is a test of students’ cumulative knowledge and ability to apply fundamental concepts to practical situations. Students are tested in at least two areas in adult education and in foundations of education (educational assessment and educational research). Generally, the comprehensive examination is scheduled in the EAST Lab for a four hour block of time and is offered two to three times a year. 

Upcoming Comprehensive Exam Dates:

Exam Schedule: All Exams 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Dickinson EAST Lab

Semester                Test Date                            Orientation Meeting/Deadline to Register

Fall 2013                 Friday, Nov. 08, 2013           Tuesday, Oct. 08, 2013

Spring 2014             Friday, March 14, 2014                 Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014

Summer 2014          Friday, June 06, 2014                   Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Fall 2014                 Friday, Nov. 07, 2014           Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2014


Apply for Comprehensive Exams

How to Study for Comprehensive Exams:

“Everything you need to know for your Comprehensive Examination you will learn in your classes. I suggest getting your non-Adult Ed. electives out of the way early in your degree so that the core classes will be fresher on your mind when you reach time for Comps. Don’t sell back your books from your core curriculum until after you have taken Comps, you will need them to review.”

“…contact the other students taking comps and at least meet up with them once to get a feel for what everyone else is studying and share websites that you found helpful content on, pages in the books that are key, etc. Even if you only contact everyone by e-mail you can still establish an effective study group. “ (Kathryn Rasure, Graduated Fall 2010)

“I found a lot of what my peers and I had read, studied, and experienced in the field were all key to answering and applying to our essays on the Comprehensive Exam. I figured, in some way or another, taking the Comprehensive Exam was like running a marathon. It takes gradual steps to prepare. By doing the assignments and collaborating with others, not to mention studying the month ahead in advance, there was plenty of time to take gradual steps to prepare. Needless to say I passed my Comprehensive Exam in November 2010, and I graduated in December 2010.” (Erica Whitfield, Graduated Fall 2010)

What to Expect the Day of the Exam:

You should expect to arrive on campus early to allow adequate time to find parking.  You MUST check in at the EAST Lab by 8:45 a.m.  The EAST Lab is located on the first floor in Dickinson Hall, Room 109.  Follow instructions for signing in.  DO NOT BE LATE!  You will need to have your student ID and a pen for completing paperwork.  Bring no notes and turn off all electronic devices.  Once the exam begins you will have four hours to complete it.  You may take breaks as needed but those breaks do not stop the time allotted for the test.  There is a proctor in the room at all times to answer questions.  When the exam ends you must stop working.

Your exams are given immediately to the program coordinator and then distributed for grading.  Faculty graders have eight weeks to assess your work.  You will be contacted by the program coordinator first and then by the graduate school with the results of your exam.  Although it rarely happens, if you fail one or two parts of the exam you will need to re-take only what you failed.  The maximum number of total attempts is three.

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Updated 10.23.2013