PASS/FAIL Rubric for the Spanish Masters Exam

Approved by the Spanish Section February 7, 2007

A PASSING response on a question from the Spanish Masters Exam does all of the following:

  • addresses all aspects of the task
  • demonstrates knowledge of the subject matter
  • reflects accurate understanding of concepts and terminology
  • develops arguments and/or presents information in a coherent and well focused manner
  • includes insightful analysis
  • integrates appropriate evidence
  • appropriately cites sources of information where required
  • features clear, accurate sentence structure and word choice
  • avoids persistent grammatical or orthographical errors
  • follows formatting and organization of the Modern Language Association (norm for all written work in Spanish graduate classes)

A FAILING response does some or all of the following:

  • neglects or fails to answer major aspects of the task
  • demonstrates weak knowledge of the subject matter relevant to the task
  • frequently misuses concepts and terminology
  • shows incoherent, fragmented development of arguments and/or organization and presentation
  • confuses historical and literary periods and their characteristics
  • includes little analysis; relies mainly on summary (or plot summaries)
  • often fails to integrate appropriate evidence, including examples and previous assertions and the development of arguments
  • neglects to cite sources where required
  • features pervasive problems in sentence structure, word choice, orthography
  • ignores basic Modern Language Associate formatting and organization

The "80%" rule of the Evaluation of the Spanish Masters Exam

To receive a PASS on the Spanish Masters Exam, the student must receive a passing grade on 80% of the exam's questions, either the first time the exam is taken or by the end of any retakes.

How it works - The "80%" rule works as follows: There are 10 questions on the Spanish Masters Exam: 7 in literature and 3 in linguistics. To receive a PASS on the exam, a student may fail ONE literature question and ONE linguistics question (=80%); OR, the student may fail TWO literature questions (= 80%). Please note: a student may not fail more than ONE linguistics question.