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General Education Curriculum

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Information Technology Waiver Exam

The Office of General Education does NOT provide study material for the IT Waiver Exam.

Successful completion of the free IT exam allows students to waive the Information Technology Requirement of the GEC. A student may take the exam only one time and no credit hours are given for passing the exam. The exam covers basic information about computers and communication systems, how they are used and how the work. (hardware, input, output, processing, storage, software (system software and applications software); communications (channels, devices, networks); as well as social and ethical implications of information technology. Students who pass the exam will be considered to have satisfied the Information Technology Requirement of the GEC; the exam does not cover the content of any specific course, and does not award course credit."

The exam is in five sections: Computing hardware, software/file formats, Office (which is 11 questions or almost a fourth of the exam), the Internet and a final section that takes into consideration information ranging from security to contemporary terminology. These questions all relate to the general computing knowledge that would be in a GEC course. An information technology course has at its mission to "introduce students to emerging informational technologies and familiarize them with the design and operation of personal computers and networked systems, the fundamentals of computer programming, and the use of important software applications. Each of these courses must also include components on the impact of computers on society, and on ethics and information." The exam questions cover the very breadth of a GEC course. The students are not being tested solely on Microsoft Office because Office is but a component of a GEC class, just as it's a component -- 22% -- of the exam.

The Office of General Education does NOT provide study material for the IT Waiver Exam.

E-mail theuc@smu.edu with your name and SMU ID# to schedule a date and time to take the exam.  Students will not be allowed to take the exam if they are currently enrolled in a course that may fulfill the Information Technology requirement after the last add/drop date for the semester.

Students should allow an hour for the test, though most students finish early. Students should make sure to arrive on time and to bring a pen or pencil, plus their SMU ID. Students and Advising Centers will be informed of the test results by email. Notification of the results will occur within 48 hours of taking the test so that students can make drop/add decisions, if necessary. The Office of General Education does not provide study material for the exam.

Students who pass the exam will be considered to have satisfied the Information Technology Requirement; however, the exam does not award course credit. Students are responsible for adding/dropping class(es) accordingly from their schedule to better fit their academic needs.

If you are planning a major in the Cox School of Business and/or Lyle School of Engineering (see below), then the IT waiver exam is not applicable to your degree, please see your advisor for more information:

Computer Science
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Civil Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Management Science
Engineering undecided

IMPORTANT NOTE: EACH STUDENT MAY TAKE THE TEST ONLY ONCE. AFTER THE TEST HAS BEEN TAKEN ONCE, RETESTS AT ANY LATER DATE ARE NOT PERMITTED.