English Exit Exam


The next Exit Exam will be

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 8:30 am in person.

Online Registration will be from October 11 – 31, 2023.

Results for the August 9, 2023 will be available by the end of August – beginning of September 2023.



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

There is only one Exit Exam per semester, usually during the final exam period.

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 is currently taking it or if he/she is only missing 603-102 and 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. Eligibility is achieved when: 

  • 603-101, 603-102 and 603-103 are completed and passed or,
  • 603-101, 603-102 are completed and passed, and the student is currently taking 603-103.
  • 603-101, 603-103 are completed and passed, and the student is currently taking 603-102

603-BXE-MQ is NOT a prerequisite and has no bearing on the English Exit Exam as it is a program specific course.

You can write the English Exit Exam 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 Exam. You must be receiving your DCS from Dawson to register for the Exit Exam at Dawson. If you are receiving your DCS from another college, you must contact them to be registered to write the exam with them.

Basic Information

Eligible students must register themselves online during the registration period if they wish to write the Exit Exam that semester (dates can be found at the bottom of the page).

You must be at the college by 8:00 am to be seated.

The instructions will be read at 8:25 am and the exam will start at 8:30 am.

No one will be allowed in after 9:00 am under any circumstances.

You cannot bring a pencil case or class notes into the exam room

You cannot wear a hoodie, hat, earbuds or head phones.

Cell phones are forbidden and will be seen as cheating.

Things to Consider while Registering Online

All eligible Dawson students must register themselves online to write the Exit Exam. Access to the online link can be found in their Omnivox portal only during the registration period (dates can be found at the bottom of the page).

There are no automatic registrations for the Exit Exam.

If you are requesting an extra hour because you were educated outside of Quebec in a language other than English, you must send the following required documents, during the registration period, to eet@dawsoncollege.qc.ca:

  • Transcript from the last education institution you attended prior to coming to Dawson
  • Diploma from the last education institution you attended prior to coming to Dawson

If you went to a French cegep prior to coming to Dawson, you may be required to write the French Exit Exam. Please contact the Exit Exam Coordinator at eet@dawsoncollege.qc.ca to advise her of your situation or to ask if you are not certain.

The Exit Exam 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.

There is only one date and time available each semester to write the Exit Exam.

Confirmation letters

If you are registered to write an Exit Exam and have not accessed your portal recently or do not remember your password, you will need to contact the Computer Help Desk for assistance.

Your confirmation letter will be sent to your Omnivox portal and you must print this letter and bring it with you to the exam.

Dawson employees are not responsible for printing your confirmation letter.

SAAC students do NOT need a confirmation letter.

Upon Entering the Exam Room

Along with a printed copy of the confirmation letter, one of the following pieces of identification is required to gain entry to the exam:

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

Any student arriving to the exam without one of these authorized pieces of identification WILL NOT be admitted to the exam under any circumstances. Any student without a printed copy of their confirmation letter will not be admitted (except SAAC students).

The exam starts at 8:30 am. We ask that you arrive at least half an hour early (8:00 am) to find your room, collect your exam booklet and listen to the instructions. Any student arriving more than a half an hour late (after 9:00 am) 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.

Do not bring a pencil case.

Students found with a cell phone on their person, whether on or off, will be immediately expelled from the exam and will receive a failing grade.

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

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

The College is not obliged to provide these reference materials for you. You cannot share a dictionary with your neighbour. 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 AND WILL BE SEEN AS CHEATING. 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 Quebec

Students that were educated outside of Quebec in a language other than English 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 Exam Coordinator a copy of their diploma and transcript (with translation) from the last educational institution they attended prior to coming to Dawson. Please these documents to eet@dawsoncollege.qc.ca: This must be done before the end of the Exit Exam 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 Exam

If you would like extra help preparing for the English Exit Exam, please check out the services offered by the Academic Skills Centre 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 Exam

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 exam results are usually available by the third week of June, the August exam results by early-September and the December exam 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 exam); mid-September (August exam) and mid-February (December exam).

For additional information about the English Exit Exam, please visit the Ministry of Education website. If you have written the Exit Exam 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 $12.10 fee for a grade review that must be paid with a certified cheque or money order. Attach it to a printed form found on the Ministry’s webpage and mail both items in to the address given on the form.

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


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 document can be studied to understand how the Test is graded:

Should the student fail, the exam must be rewritten, and passed, before a DCS 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 Exam.

If you need more information about the English Exit Exam, please contact Wendy Willis by email at eet@dawsoncollege.qc.ca.

Future Exit Exam Dates

The dates for the English Exit Exam are scheduled years in advance. There are no other exam dates available. The Ministry does not allow any student to write at any other time than these specified dates. Exit Exams are always held on a Wednesday at 8:30 am. The next known exam dates are:

  • Wednesday, May 15, 2024 (online registration from March 11 – 29, 2024)
  • Wednesday, August 7, 2024 (online registration from June 3 – 17, 2024)
  • Wednesday, December 18, 2024 (online registration from October 14 – 31, 2024)
  • Wednesday, May 14, 2025 (online registration from March 10 – 28, 2025)
  • Wednesday, August 9, 2025 (online registration from June 2 – 20, 2025)
  • Wednesday, December 13, 2025 (online registration from October 13 – 30, 2025)
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2026 (online registration from March 9 – 27, 2026)
  • Wednesday, August 12, 2026 (online registration from June 1 – 19, 2026)
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2026 (online registration from October 12 – 30, 2026)



Last Modified: August 30, 2023