A New Online Resource to Address Student Difficulties with English Exit Exam
A new resource has been added to the Learning Centre of the CCDMD, which focuses on English-language improvement. This additional tool aims at preparing students for the English Exit Exam (EEE). It is practical and interactive, addressing notions that cause difficulty for students, which are Techniques and Devices. Considering the importance of the exam, a certain degree of preparation is required to ensure success. The Learning Centre of CCDMD offers several different resources, including a tool for Writing Thesis Statements, which was the subject of a Profweb article. Paulette Cake, Project Manager for the CCDMD, directed me to the CCDMD Learning Centre to learn more about the exam and the resources that are available.
The English Exit Exam assesses students’ abilities to understand and analyze essays or short stories, by writing a 750-word essay. This new resource, designed by Patti Kingsmill, from Vanier College, includes 3 interactive quizzes to help students identify techniques and devices in the essay and the short story. These elements are related to Criterion II of the English Exit Exam: Comprehension and Insight.
The menu shows the various resources available for students to prepare for the English Exit Exam. Clicking on “Techniques and Devices” takes students to the new interactive quizzes, where they can practise these concepts.
Each quiz, begins with an introduction to the goals and objectives of that quiz and how completing the exercise will help in preparing for the exam. Students advance through the quizzes, flipping from page to page, answering interactive questions and obtaining immediate feedback. A tool bar at top of the page makes for easy navigation around the site, including:
- Consulting the glossary
- Obtaining a summary of their results
- Using the reset option to undo an answer and try again
- Viewing the correct answer
- Submitting answers
One of the quiz pages, demonstrating the easy navigation tool bar at the top of the page and the types of questions used in the quizzes. Through interactive activities, students can practice and test their comprehension in preparation for the exam.
The glossary section is easy to navigate by alphabetical order.
According to Leigh Bateman, Coordinator of the English Exit Exam Working Group for the province, students are taught how to analyse literature in their CEGEP and college courses, but not necessarily how to analyse an essay as a literary work. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education mandates that the English Exit Exam include the analysis of an essay, and if students have not taken the time to properly prepare for the exam, it is understandable that they will find this part of the exam challenging.
Leigh was very pleased to learn about this new resource by the CCDMD, as it will also provide the teachers who help students prepare for the exam with an additional tool that is focused on a problematic element for students. The English-language instruction CEGEPs and colleges in the province all provide students with information sessions and tutoring to help them prepare for the 4-hour long exam, and Cégep à distance even offers an online course. The larger institutions have tutoring available through their Learning Centres, while the smaller schools, such as CEGEP Champlain-St. Lawrence in Quebec City, offer students a detailed information session, followed by punctual workshops if there is a demand for it. A team of English teachers at St. Lawrence is available to provide individual tutoring, which mostly occurs in the case of students who have failed once and are preparing to retake the exam.
The exam is held in August, December and May of each academic year. Students are at no loss of finding help to prepare for this exam. Along with teacher support and resources on the CCDMD website, the Ministry website also offers information and resources for students. In spreading the news about the additional interactive tool by the CCDMD, students can be even more prepared for the mandatory exam that permits them to obtain their college diploma (DEC).
The following is a list of some of the resources available to students and teachers in preparing for the English Exit Exam:
- English Exit Exam Preparation – by the CCDMD
- Ministerial Examination of College English – Language of Instruction and Literature – by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education
- Preparing for English Exit Exam – by Cégep à distance
- Demystifying the English Exit Exam – by John Abbott College
- English Exit Exam – by Dawson College’s Academic Skills Centre
- Tip Sheets – Reading and Analyzing – By Vanier College
If you are interested in becoming a marker for the English Exit Exam, you can apply via the Ministry website. Full time teachers can apply anytime and part time teachers are invited to apply during the call for applicants, which takes place once a year.