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Ministerial Examination of College English

All students in English CEGEPs must take the examination before graduating and must pass the examination to obtain a Diploma of College Studies (DCS).

Description of the examination

Students have 4 hours in which to read the 3 texts provided and to write a formal essay of 750 words about one of them.

The following are samples of the topics used in previous years:


Students must have passed 2 of the 3 courses (603101, 603102, 603103) and be in the process of completing the third (603102 or 603103) when they register for the examination. Students register for the exam at the college they attend.

The examination takes place 3 times a year. The next examinations will be held on the following dates:

  • December 13, 2023
  • May 15, 2024
  • August 7, 2024
  • December 18, 2024
  • May 14, 2025
  • August 6, 2025
  • December 17, 2025
  • May 13, 2026
  • August 12, 2026
  • December 16, 2026

Preparation for the examination

You may contact your college for additional resources or assistance.

Reference Materials

Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 7th ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1999.

Davis, F., and S. Woodruff. Exit with Success! A Manual for Students Preparing to Write the Ministerial Examination of College English. Sainte-Foy: Les éditions Le Griffon d’argile, 2001.

Cambridge International Dictionary of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Collins Cobuild English Dictionary. London: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd., 1995.

Hodges, John C., et al. Harbrace Handbook for Canadians. 5th ed. Toronto: Harcourt Brace Canada, 1999.

Langan, J., and S. Winstanley. College Writing Skills with Readings. 2nd Canadian ed. Toronto: McGraw Hill, 2000.

Norton, S., B. Green and N. Waldman. The Bare Essentials Plus. 2nd ed. Toronto: Nelson, 2002.

During the examination

You may use three of the following reference books:

  • unilingual or bilingual dictionary
  • dictionary of usage
  • thesaurus
  • grammar handbook
  • style guide

However, it is forbidden to use course notes or personal notes. In addition, the following books are not permitted:

  • dictionary of proper names
  • anthology
  • writing guide

Electronic devices such as smart watches and smart phones must be turned off and must be inaccessible for the duration of the examination.

Passing the examination

Students pass the exam if they have grades of C or better in each of the three criteria:

  • Comprehension and insight
  • Organization of response
  • Expression

Appeals are permitted. The procedures for appeals are explained on the back of the grade report.

Students who fail must rewrite the exam and pass before a DCS can be issued. There is no limit to the number of times a failed exam may be rewritten.

Request for a document or service

Examinations are kept for only one year. You cannot request a copy of your examination or a revision of your mark after one year has elapsed.

To request a copy of an examination and a copy of the results, complete the online form Request for a document or service This hyperlink will open in a new window. or the equivalent PDF form (PDF 232 Kb) and send it by email, post or fax.

The document will be sent to the mailing address of the person making the request, namely the person who wrote the exam.

To request a revision of your mark, you must mail the PDF form Request for a document or service (PDF 232 Kb), with a money order or certified cheque in the amount of $12.50 payable to the Minister of Finance.

You must sign all requests sent by email, post or fax.

If you live outside of Canada, you must send us your document or service request by fax or regular mail.

Keep your confirmation that the form has been sent or submitted.

The following are the standard timeframes for requests:

  • Copy of the results: 5 working days
  • Copy of an examination: 10 working days
  • Revision of a mark: 20 working days

Contact us

  • Address

    Direction de la formation générale et préuniversitaire
    Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur
    1035, rue De La Chevrotière, 12e étage
    Québec (Québec) G1R 5A5
    Télécopieur : 418 6431926

  • Emails

Last update: March 25, 2024


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