Grades on Exams
(Please review the End of Program Assessment Manual for Graduate Studies as found in the Week One Lesson. The relevant sections are reproduced here.)
The course instructor will grade the exam (which cannot be taken before the course ends) using the exam grading rubric, which can be found in the Assignments section and Lessons. Students should review the rubric prior to taking the exam. Students will answer four essay questions that will be graded as follows:
1. “Pass with Distinction” – This is rare and is only given to a student who passes three questions “with distinction,” and the fourth with at least a “pass.” “With distinction” means the answers clearly demonstrate an understanding of the issue beyond what is typically expected of graduate students and is written using accepted academic writing conventions.
2. “Pass” – This grade is assigned for essays that meet the requirements for a graduate-level essay. The answer must demonstrate a clear understanding of the issue and must be written using accepted academic writing conventions. Students who pass three questions with at least a “pass” will pass the examination, which allows for one “fail” on the four examination questions.
3. “Fail” – This grade is assigned for essays that do not meet the requirements for a graduate-level essay. Students who fail two or more questions will fail the examination. Note: A student who fails the examination the first time cannot receive a grade of “Pass with Distinction” on the second examination. The highest grade possible is a “Pass.” The second examination is to be graded by a faculty member different from the first round of testing and will include different exam questions.
a. If a student has twice failed the comprehensive exam, he/she MAY be permitted, under special circumstances, to enroll in the capstone project course for his/her discipline. Students who have failed the comp exam twice may apply for this option by submitting an application (included in the application is the student’s plan for completing the project that addresses all of the comments from the previous 2 instructors) to the Dean of Graduate Studies. In order for the application to be considered, the student must be prepared to enroll in the capstone course within one month of the last failure. If the student fails because s/he has not adhered to the conventions of standard English grammar and/or formal academic writing, s/he may be required to complete ENGL600 prior to enrolling in the capstone course. The request will be reviewed by a committee of two that includes the Dean of the student’s school and the Dean of Graduate Studies. For applications contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
b. The student has the right to appeal issues related to the comprehensive examination in line with the standard APUS appeals process.