To earn the degree in English or English Education, students must pass the senior comprehensive exam. This is taken the first semester of the senior year. This way, if a student fails a section or sections of the exam, he or she can retake that section or sections in the second semester.
The exam has three sections:
COMPREHENSIVE READING LIST AND LITERARY TERMS:
- Objective Questions These are multiple choice questions covering the required readings on the Senior Comprehensive Reading List (see below). This section of the exam tests knowledge of the readings, terms, and period concepts.
- Close Reading of a Text A poem or prose passage that the student is likely never to have seen before is presented. The student must write an essay that analyzes the piece. This section of the exam tests the ability to make sense of a work of literature on one's own.
- Essay Students write a well-developed essay on a broad topic. This section of the exam tests the ability to write well and to make connections among works from English, American, and world literature.