Each candidate for graduation must pass this final examination conducted by the graduate faculty of the department. The final exam requires candidates to demonstrate an appropriate standard of scholarship and to provide evidence of the ability to think critically, to draw and defend conclusions, and to complete work in a creditable manner.
When do I sign up for the exam?
All CMIS Core courses and all Program Foundation courses (aka, program prerequisites or deficiency coursework) must be completed before you register for the exit exam. Note that the exam will assess you on one of your program elective courses too, so you want to have completed at least one of your electives before registering for the exam as well.
To be eligible for exit exam registration, you must also be a graduate student in good standing at SIUE, which includes the requirement that your GPA be 3.0 or above.
How do I sign up for the exam?
Register for CMIS 589 (1 credit hour) by working with Business Student Services. This puts you on the list of students sitting for the exam in that term so the CMIS Department can communicate with you about exam date and location.
What should I expect on the exam?
Students will complete a total of 7 questions (or “topic areas”). Six of these are from the CMIS Core courses (specifically, CMIS 570, CMIS 564, CMIS 468, CMIS 540, CMIS 528, and CMIS 557). The remaining question is selected by the student from a set of questions drawn from elective courses.
Students should note that the elective they choose to answer in their initial sitting for the exit exam is the elective they then must pass. In other words, if you choose CMIS 563 as an elective when you initially take the M.S. exit exam and fail that question, you cannot change to a different elective question on the retake (i.e., you must retake a question on CMIS 563).
The questions are open-ended, essay type questions, and they are developed by instructors of the courses. In situations where more than one instructor taught the course, either the instructors will work together to develop the question or there will be separate questions on the exam (e.g., CMIS 540-Smith, CMIS 540-Jones). The questions are designed to require candidates to demonstrate an appropriate standard of scholarship and to provide evidence of the ability to think critically, to draw and defend conclusions, and to complete work in a creditable manner.
How will the exam be administered?
This is a 1-day exam. The first half of the exam is held from 9:00am to 12:00, and for that time period students receive four of the exam questions to complete. Those answers are turned in at 12:00. At 1:00, testing resumes and students are given the remaining questions (of which they complete three). The afternoon testing session ends at 3:30pm.
The student is provided access to a workstation in order to use Word to complete the exam. No other tools are used in completing the exam. Internet connections are disabled. Each student is given a counted number of blank sheets of paper to be used as worksheets, and these sheets of paper are collected and re-counted and shredded at the end of the morning and afternoon testing periods. If a student wants to sketch a diagram on one of the blank sheets and have it attached to the Word portion of an exam answer, s/he needs to communicate that to the exam administrator and clearly print on the sheet of paper his/her name and the course (topic area) the sheet is to be attached to.
What constitutes “passing” the exam?
The exam is graded by a team of CMIS graduate faculty members. A student must successfully complete (i.e., “pass”) all seven topic areas of the exam.
What if I don’t pass?
If a topic area(s) is not passed, the student will be offered an opportunity to retake that section(s) of the exam at a later date, in either a written or oral format. There is no guarantee that a retake will occur before the end of the term in which the student originally sat for the exam.
Standard practice is for the first retake to be in written format. If the student fails the written retake, the second retake will be in oral format. The Program Director will appoint an appropriate committee of three CMIS faculty members to conduct the oral examination with the student.
If a student fails both retakes, then the student must: (a) retake the class in this topic area and earn a grade of ‘B’ or better, and (b) after successful completion of the course, sit for that portion of the exit exam again. If the topic area failed is an elective course that is no longer offered, the student must take a new (additional) elective and sit for an exit exam question on that new elective.