Ministerial Examination of College English – Language of Instruction and Literature

The Ministerial Examination of College English (the English Exit Exam) is a four-hour examination that takes place: in May, August, and December. All students in English Cegeps must take the examination before graduating and must pass the examination to obtain a Diplôme d'études collégiales (DEC). Students must have passed two of the three courses (603-101, 603-102, 603-103) and be in the process of completing the third (603-102 or 603-103) when they register for the examination. Students who do not fit this profile may, however, be admitted to the examination following an evaluation of their student record by the college. 

The examination is designed to determine whether students have achieved a satisfactory level of competence in English. It is based on the Ministerial Objectives and standards for all English courses given in the province.

Students have four hours to

  • read three selections of fiction and non-fiction,
  • choose one of the three selections to write about,
  • organize and draft an essay in response, and
  • revise and edit the essay.

The essays are graded by a team of teachers from Cegep English Departments and by external examiners from across the province. They are evaluated on three criteria: Comprehension and Insight, Organization of Response, and Expression, on a scale from A (very good) to F (unacceptable).

A. Very good
B. Good
C. Adequate
D. Weak
E. Very poor
F. Unacceptable

Students pass the exam if they have grades of C or better in each of the three criteria. D is a failing grade.

After the papers are graded, students are informed of the results in a report which indicates the grade the student has earned on each of the three criteria, as well as the outcome, Pass or Fail.

Appeals are permitted. The procedures for appeal are explained on the back of the grade report.

Students who fail must rewrite the exam and pass before a DEC can be issued. There is no limit to the number of times a failed exam may be rewritten.

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