Continuation Examination


Record of Continuation Examination

*When paperwork has been completed and approved by the student's advisor, the student should see Dr. Oakes to schedule a time.

To be approved for continuation as a music major on the junior level (enrollment in Music 319: Applied Music: Majors), a student must pass a Continuation Examination.


What is the Continuation Exam?

A performance, review of academic progress, and assessment of professional goals and plans.

Identifies problems or deficiencies that might interfere with the student's continued progress and leads to suggestions for appropriate remedies.

Taken at the end of the sophomore year.

Successful completion required before enrollment in applied music on the junior level (Music 319: Applied Music: Majors).

What are the requirements for passing the Continuation Examination?

Demonstration of acceptable musicianship and performance techniques in:

  • Prepared repertoire (3 selections from contrasting periods or styles, chosen by and studied with the applied teacher)
  • Self-prepared piece (Consult with the teacher about the selection of this work. Teacher may select the work, give the student a choice of works, or allow the student to choose the work.)
  • Sight-reading (chosen by the applied teacher)
  • Completion of Music 228 (or successful completion of piano proficiency examination) Waived for keyboard majors; 327 required for graduation.
  • For students in the music education options
    • A Review by the Music Education Faculty (an interview in conjunction with Music 266)
    • A 2.5 GPA

When should I take the Continuation Exam?

The examination should be taken during the fourth semester. The Curriculum Committee of the Department of Music may grant permission to take the exam one semester later if the student has compelling reasons to do so.

Continuation exams are usually scheduled during final exam week; however, they may be scheduled at various times throughout the semester. As a convenience to students, the department reserves specific times in the recital hall during final exam week for continuation examinations. If an alternate time is desired, the student should consult with his/her CE committee in selecting a date/time and contact the office of the Department of Music to reserve a room.

Transfer students who enter ISU with four or more semesters of applied instruction in their major must take the Continuation Examination before the end of their second semester in residence. In some cases, if the applied instructor recommends registration at the 300 level in applied music during the first semester of residence at ISU (for example, for transfer students who enter ISU with four or more semesters of applied instruction in their major from an accredited institution), the repertory performance part of the Continuation Exam may be waived upon the recommendation of the applied instructor or applied jury committee. In such cases, the transfer student will be required to complete other parts of the exam within the first three weeks of the semester in order to enroll in Music 319.

The Continuation Examination Committee (CEC) 

This examination is taken before a Continuation Examination Committee (CEC). The CEC consists of the student's advisor and jury committee, the department head, one additional music faculty member and, for those in the music education options a representative from the music education faculty. The student's applied teacher, in consultation with the student, will determine the membership of the CEC.

Preparation for the Continuation Exam

  • Complete the Record of Continuation Examination form 
  • Most recent degree audit 
  • 4-year plan (
  • Microsoft word or excel document with course plan for remaining semesters. List courses to be taken each semester. List department, course name, number, and credits for each course, and total credits for each semester. 
  • Essay: A one-page typed statement of a student’s personal goals, self-assessment of progress thus far, and, assessment of what they want to accomplish before graduation. This essay should be an example of the student’s best writing and will be read not only for content, but also for style and organization. 
  • Copies of the music to be performed. For instrumentalists, the instrumental part (without accompaniment) is adequate. Consult with your applied teacher if you have any questions. 

Deadlines for the Continuation Exam:

Completed paperwork must be turned in to the student's advisor no later than three weeks before the beginning of exam week. Any corrections or modifications suggested by the advisor must be completed and approved by the advisor before the student may sign up for a CE time. The deadline for signing up for a CE time is Monday, the week before final exam week. A student electing to take the CE earlier in the semester should follow a similar time table preceding the date he/she intends to take the exam. When the paperwork has been approved by the advisor, the student may sign up for a time for the examination with Dr. Oakes and contact members of the committee, or they may be contacted by the applied teacher.

After the Continuation Examination


A written report will be given to each student following his/her performance and a copy placed in the student's permanent file. In addition to indicating the success or failure of each part of the examination, this evaluation will include a candid assessment of the student's potential to achieve his/her goals. The student may also arrange to meet with members of the Continuation Examination Committee at a later date to discuss the results of his/her Continuation Examination.

Retaking portions of the CE 

The student may be allowed to retake, at a later date, any part of the examination not passed. The CEC may limit the number of additional attempts, but normally students are not permitted to register for Music 219 following a second unsuccessful attempt. A third unsuccessful attempt would result in a student's being advised to change majors. In order to enroll in Music 319 or 419: Applied Music, the student must pass all sections of the Continuation Examination and piano requirements (Music 228 or the piano proficiency examination).