M.A. Exam


The M.A. in English Examination will be administered on the following dates:

Saturday, November 6, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
Saturday, April 2, 2022 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Saturday July 30, 2022 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Contact the English Department at (479) 968-0256 to register for the examination.

Click here to review the M.A. English Reading List.

M.A. In English Comprehensive Examination

Student Information

All students who are enrolled in Arkansas Tech's M.A. in English and are not completing the TESL option are required to pass the M.A. in English Examination. The examination is administered three times each year in November, April, and July, as listed above. Additional information is available from the English Department in Witherspoon Hall Hall 141 or by phone at (479) 968-0256. Students should register for the examination with the English Department at least two weeks before the administration date.  There is no registration fee.

The Examination Committee

An examination committee, composed of three English graduate faculty members appointed by the English Department Head, will be responsible for writing and grading the examinations as pass or fail.

The Examination Reading List

The examination is based on the M.A. In English Examination Reading List. Students are responsible for mastering the works on the List through careful selection of courses and supplementary reading.

The Examination

As of the April 4, 2020 administration, the M.A. In English Comprehensive Examination requires an essay focusing onworks from the M.A. In English Examination Reading List

Students will have four hours in which to complete a focused and documented essay in response to one of three prompts. The essay must discuss at least  three of the works/authors on the M.A. In English Examination Reading List.

Two of the three graders will have to assign a passing grade to an essay for a student to pass the examination. Student essays will be judged on effective use of concrete textual knowledge, ability to place individual writers and works in their cultural/historical contexts, accurate documentation, and evidence of a mature critical understanding of literature.

Notification: Students will be notified of examination results within two weeks of the examination date.

Retaking Examinations:

A student who fails  the examination may retake the examination on the next regularly scheduled test date. A student who fails one or more parts of the examination on a second or subsequent attempt may petition the Department Head for an additional chance on the next regularly scheduled exam date. A student whose petition is denied may appeal the decision to the Dean of the Graduate College. If an additional attempt is approved, the Department Head may assign the student a graduate faculty mentor to monitor the student's preparation for the retake.

Preparing for the Examination

Give Yourself Enough Time: The M.A. Examination covers a considerable body of literature, so it is important that you begin to prepare well in advance of the examination date.

Ask For Help: English faculty members are willing to help you in your preparation. For example, after reading one of the authors on the list, a brief discussion about the work with a faculty member could improve your understanding. If you do not know which faculty member might be able to help you with a particular author, ask the Department Head for a suggestion.

Sample Literature Essay Prompts

1. Discuss the role of violence in three works from the reading list.
2. Examine the ways in which social restraints affect the characters' choices in three works on the reading list.
3. Trace the theme of isolation and alienation in three works from the reading list.