Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive Exam

Every Spring all biology majors are required to take the Comprehensive exam. In addition, the incoming freshmen are also tested in the Fall. This is a three hour, 200 multiple-choice question exam that provides the department with a yearly snapshot of the program.

For students, the exam provides a way to assess how you are progressing in various areas of biology, how you are doing relative to previous years and how prepared you are for continuing education or a job on graduation. Lastly, since the exam you took as an incoming freshman will usually be the same one you take as a graduating senior, you will be able to see how you have changed over the years.

Since the exam is modeled on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), it is of particular interest to those planning to go on to graduate school, since many require applicants to take the Biology GRE.

Scores form the 1998 exam are shown below:

Year Total Cellular Genetics Plants Animals Ecology Analytical
Freshmen 17 18 22 10 19 18 20
Sophmore 26 33 33 8 22 28 55
Junior 54 35 35 8 21 31 36
Senior 75 46 46 16 33 38 45