Continuation Exam


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.

See also catalog statement under: Courses and Programs: Music (p. 301 in the 2007-2009 ISU Catalog ).

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?

(Also see Preparation below for work which must be completed before the CE can take place.)

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 335

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

Choose repertoire and discuss readiness to take the performance part of the Continuation Examination with your applied teacher.

If you need assistance in finding an accompanist , complete and turn in an accompanist request form, along with your music, in the main office. Accompanists are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, but requests should be made no later than 4-6 weeks before the anticipated examination date.

Assemble a packet of written materials . Consult with your advisor about these materials to avoid extra work and delays in their completion which could result in the cancellation of your CE. You will provide a copy of this packet for each member of the CEC. The written materials consist of:

Record of Continuation Examination

Department of Music, Music Major Record

The latest degree audit

The official Course Check sheet and Suggested Sequence* or 4-Year Plan* for your degree/option including semesters courses were, or will be, taken and, for courses completed, grades received

A plan for the remaining semesters listing courses to be taken each semester if different from the Course Checksheet and Suggested Sequence or 4-Year Plan. This should include the credits for each course and total credits for each semester.

A one-page essay which includes: (1) a statement of your personal goals; (2) a self-assessment of your progress thus far; and (3) an assessment of what you need/want to accomplish before graduation. This essay should be an example of your best writing and will be read not only for content, but also for style and organization. The personal goals statement might include goals for future employment; the self-assessment should address your qualifications for that employment goal why you aspire to that goal, and why you think that particular goal is right for you.

Bring an adequate number of copies of the music to be performed so that each member of the CEC can follow a score. For instrumentalists, the instrumental part (without accompaniment) is adequate. (Music for sight reading will be provided by the applied teacher.)

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 as well as Music 335 and piano requirements (Music 228 or the piano proficiency examination).

Recertification of Continuation Examination 

when changing curricula after Continuation Examination
When a music student changes his/her degree (BA/BM) or option within the BM after passing the Continuation Examination, the student must update the Continuation papers with new "Record of Continuation Examination," "Department of Music Music Major Record," Essay (including an explanation of the change of goals), and a course plan for the course work remaining in the new program. The Continuation Examination Committee will review the student's papers and must approve the change before the "Change of Curriculum/Major" form is filed.

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