English Exit Exam Essays

English Exit Test


Next English Exit Test:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 8:30am – 12:30pm

Online registration for the May test will be from March 12 – 30, 2018.


All students registered for the English Exit Test will receive a confirmation letter a couple of weeks prior to the test in their Omnivox Portal under My Omnivox Services → Documents & Messages . You must read this letter thoroughly, print it prior to the morning of the test and bring it with you to receive admittance into the exam room indicated on the letter.

Dawson employees are not responsible for printing this letter.

If you have not accessed your portal recently or do not remember your password, you will need to contact the Computer Help Desk for assistance.

All students writing the test must arrive at the college by 8:00 am. They must bring a blue or black pen, their confirmation letter, and appropriate ID.

Basic Information

All Dawson students must register themselves online to write the Exit Test once they are eligible. There are no automatic registrations.

The Exit Test is always held on a Wednesday and usually during Dawson’s exam period. It is the only exam held between 8:30 am – 1:30 pm of that day so there will never be an exam conflict.

They must bring their confirmation letter with them to gain entry to the test along with one of the following pieces of identification.

  • Dawson ID
  • Passport
  • Medicare Card
  • Driver’s License

Any student arriving to the test without one of these authorized pieces of identification WILL NOT be admitted to the test under any circumstances.

The test starts at 8:30 am. We ask that you arrive at least half an hour early to find your room, collect your test booklet and listen to the instructions. Any student arriving more than a half an hour late (after 9:00 am) to the test will NOT be admitted under any circumstances.

Students should bring a blue or black pen. Do not use pens with erasable ink, they may fade and cause your writing to be illegible.

Each student may bring only three (3) reference books on basic language from the following list:

  • a standard dictionary
  • a bilingual dictionary
  • a grammar book
  • a thesaurus

The College is not obliged to provide these reference materials for you. You can not share a dictionary with your neighbor. You may NOT bring an electronic dictionary, personal notes, course notes, tip sheets, handbooks and/or books on essay writing and presentation. These items are simply NOT ALLOWED. Please verify that the dictionary you intend to use does NOT contain additional material such as essay writing or dictionary of literary devices as you will not be allowed to use it.

Students educated outside Canada

Students that were educated outside of Canada in a language other than English or French prior to coming to Dawson, may be eligible for an extra hour (5 hours instead of 4). Students wishing to apply for the extra hour, must submit to the Exit Test Coordinator a copy of their diploma and transcript (with translation) from the last educational institution they attended prior to coming to Dawson. Please bring a copy to give to the coordinator. She will not make the copy for you. This must be done before the end of the Exit Test registration period. The MESRST (Ministry of Education) will determine the eligibility of each student. If you attended high school in Quebec, you will not be eligible. If you were educated in English or French in another country, you will not be eligible.

Assistance preparing for the Exit Test

If you would like extra help preparing for the English Exit Test, please check out the services offered by the Academic Skills Center using the links below, or drop by to visit them on the second floor of the library.

On-line materials and advice on preparing for the English Exit Test

Information on writing workshops, drop-in sessions, and other services

Results & Post Tests Options

Results are available online at the bottom of your omnivox transcript. The May test results are usually available by the third week of June, the August test results by early-September and the December test results by the third week of January. “RE” means pass (réussi) and “EC” means fail (échec).

Students are informed of the detailed results in a grade report which will indicates the grades earned on each of the three criteria, as well as the outcome, Pass or Fail. You may expect to receive this report in mid-July (May test); mid-September (August Test) and mid-February (December test).

For additional information about the English Exit Test, please visit the Ministry of Education website. If you have written the Exit Test within the last year and would like to obtain a copy of your exam, you can make that request directly to the Ministry online.

The procedures for appealing the grade are explained on the back of the grade report. There is $11.20 fee for a grade review that must be paid with a certified cheque or money order. Print and fill out the following attached form and send it with the fee. Demande_document_service_VA

If you are a graduate and have been accepted to university but did not pass the Exit Test, you must contact the university to advise them of the situation. Dawson can only register you for the next upcoming Exit Test. The universities make their own decisions in respect to your not receiving a DEC due to a missing ministerial requirement.


The Ministerial Examination of College English, commonly referred to as the English Exit Test, is a four-hour examination that takes place twice a year, in May and December, with a make-up test in August. All students completing a program of studies are required to pass the examination in order to obtain a D.E.C. (AEC programs are exempt from this examination).


Students who have successfully completed the three Block A English courses (603-101, 603-102, and 603-103) are eligible to write the examination. However, a student may register if he/she has only 603-103 left, and he/she is currently taking it. Students who have been granted Substitutions (SU) or Equivalencies (EQ) for English 603-101, 603-102, and/or 603-103, based on courses previously taken at college or university, are also eligible to write.

Students are encouraged to write this exam as soon as they are eligible to do so.

603-101, 603-102 and 603-103 completed and passedEligible
603-101, 603-102 completed and passed, currently taking 603-103Eligible
603-101, 603-103 completed and passed, currently taking 603-102Eligible
603-101, 603-102 completed and passed, currently taking 603-BXENot Eligible
603-101, 603-103 completed and passed, currently taking 603-BXENot Eligible

You can write the English Exit Test as many times as it takes to pass without fees. You do not have to be registered for courses to register to write the Exit Test. You must be receiving your DEC from Dawson to register for the Exit Test at Dawson. If you are receiving your DEC from another college, you must contact them to be registered to write the test with them.

Exit Test Format

The examination is designed to determine how well students can apply what they have been taught in their English courses. It is based on the Ministerial Objectives and Standards that apply to English courses given in the province. Students have four hours in which to complete the exam. In that time, each student must:

  • read three selections of fiction and non-fiction,
  • choose one of the three selections to write about,
  • organize and draft an essay of at least 750 words in response,
  • revise and edit the essay, and
  • transcribe the final draft of the essay into the exam booklet.

No cell phones, coats or bags of any kind are permitted in the exam room and students are encouraged to leave all such items in their lockers before entering the examination area. While it is possible, with permission, to make necessary washroom visits (a monitor will be stationed in the hallway), it is important to note that any student who leaves the examination area for any other reason will NOT be re-admitted. This means that a student cannot leave the exam room to get food, to make a phone call, to put money into a parking meter, etc.

Evaluation Criteria

The essays are graded by a team of teachers from English departments and by external examiners from across the province. They are graded, on each of the three criteria explained below, on a scale from A (very good) to F (unacceptable). Students pass the exam if they have grades of C or better on each of the three criteria; the grade D is a failing grade.

Comprehension & Insight

  • recognition of a main idea from the selected reading
  • identification of techniques and/or devices employed by the author
  • evidence of critical or analytical interpretation of the selection
  • references that demonstrate understanding of the reading

Organization of Response

  • statement of a thesis about the text
  • structured development of the essay
  • use of detail to support the thesis
  • unified paragraph structure


  • appropriate use of words
  • varied and correct sentence structures
  • correct grammar
  • conventional spelling, punctuation, and usage

The following documents can be studied to understand how the Test is graded:

Should the student fail, the exam must be rewritten, and passed, before a DEC can be issued. There is no limit to the number of times a failed exam may be rewritten, but students can only write on the authorized test dates. There is no fee charged for writing, or rewriting the English Exit Test.

If you need more information about the English Exit Test, please contact Wendy Willis by email at wwillis@dawsoncollege.qc.ca or by phone at 514-931-8731 ext. 3948.

Future Exit Test Dates

The dates for the English Exit Test are scheduled years in advance. There are no other test dates available. The ministry does not allow any student to write at any other time than these specified dates. The next known test dates are:

  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018 (online registration from March 12 – 30, 2018)
  • Wednesday, August 8, 2018 (no online registration; email coordinator by the end of June)
  • Wednesday, December 19, 2018 (online registration from October 15 – 31, 2018)
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2019 (online registration from March 11 – 29, 2019)
  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 (no online registration; email coordinator by the end of June)
  • Wednesday, December 18, 2019 (online registration from October 15 – 31, 2019)
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2020 (online registration from March 16 – 31, 2020)
  • Wednesday, August 12, 2020 (no online registration; email coordinator by the end of June)
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2020 (online registration from October 13 – 30, 2020)

What is the English Exit Exam?

The English Exit Exam, also referred to as the Ministerial Examination of College English, is an exam given by the Ministère d’Enseignement supérieur, Recherche et Science (MESRS) to all students in English colleges in Quebec. You must successfully complete the Exam in order to obtain your college diploma (D.E.C.).

The Exam is four hours long. In this time, you will read three texts provided to you. You will then choose one of the texts and write a 750-word critical essay about it.

For more information, you may wish to consult the guide published by MESRS entitled, Ministerial Examination of College English: Everything You Need to Know from A to Z.

When am I eligible to write the Exam?

Students who have completed the 101, 102 and 103 English courses are eligible to write the Exam. Students who have completed two of these courses (101 and 102 or 103) and are currently in the process of completing the third (102 or 103) are also eligible. Whether or not you have completed the B-block English course has no bearing on your eligibility to write the Exam.

Will I receive notification if I have to write the Exam? Do I have to register for the Exam?

If you are eligible to write the Exam, you will receive written notification in the mail approximately three weeks before the Exam to inform you of the date and time. To register, all eligible students must complete a form that will be posted on Omnivox.  You will then present yourself at the school on the day and time indicated.

I meet the criteria to write the Exam, but I didn’t receive notification. What should I do?

You must contact the Registrar’s Office in room F-103 or by phone at 450-672-7360 ext. 256.

I am scheduled to write the Exam. What happens if I don’t write it?

Students who do not write the Exam on their scheduled date are not penalized. However, you will not be eligible to graduate until you have passed the Exam. This may have an effect on your admission to university.

When and where does the Exam take place?

The Exam takes place three times a year: in May, August and December. The upcoming exam dates for the next three years are available online. These dates are set by MESRS. Champlain College cannot under any circumstances change the date or time of the exam. Students who miss the exam must write it on the next date when it is offered. The Exam takes place at Champlain College.

Students must arrive at the Exam by 8:15 a.m. The Exam begins at 8:30 a.m.

Are special measures available to students requiring adapted support?

Students requiring accommodations must make the request in person to Marie Pupo, Adapted Services Counsellor. You can make an appointment with her in Student Services or by emailing her at mpupo@crcmail.net.

Can I re-write the Exam if I fail?

Yes, you can re-write the Exam as many times as necessary until you pass it. Students who have already passed the Exam may not re-write it.

If I fail the Exam, will I automatically be re-registered to re-write it?

No. You must contact the Registrar’s Office in room F-103 or by phone at 450-672-7360 ext. 256.

I previously attended a French college and passed the Exam in French. Do I have to pass it again in English?

No. Students who were registered at a French college and already passed the Exam in French do not have to pass it again in English. However, if you only ever attended an English college, you must write the Exam in English. You cannot choose which language to write it in.

How can I prepare for the Exam?

Consult MESRS’s page of Resource Materials. Champlain also holds info sessions prior to the May and December Exams; you will be informed of the date and time in the same mailing as your invitation to write the Exam.

Can I go to university if I don’t pass the Exam?

No. You must pass the Exam in order to graduate college and enter university. Students writing the Exam in August will have their Exam graded in time for the fall start date at university.

How is the Exam graded?

The Exam is graded on three criteria: comprehension and insight; organization of response; and expression. You must score at least a C on all three criteria in order to pass the exam. The final exam grade is pass/fail. More information is available in the Marking Guide. You may also wish to consult these Sample Student Essays for examples of how the Exam is graded.

When will I receive my grade? Where will my grade appear?

Your final grade (pass/fail) will be available on your Omnivox account approximately six weeks after you write the Exam. It will also appear on your transcript. The full marks (i.e. the letter grades for each marking criteria) will be mailed to you at a later date.

Please note: Students who fail the Exam (even multiple times) will have the results of each attempt printed on their transcript.

Can I request a grade review? Can I see my Exam after it’s been graded?

You can submit a grade review request and/or a request to view your Exam online. Please note that Champlain College does not have access to your Exam; you must make the request directly to MESRS.

Where can I go for more information?

Please consult MESRS’s webpage about the English Exit Exam for further information. You can also visit the Registrar’s Office in room F-103 or call us at 450-672-7360 ext. 256.

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