Procedure for the DGA1032 written exam

1. Specific structure and process

At this stage of the doctoral exam, the research supervisor must have sent jury members the research proposal prepared by the student as part of the DGA1031 activity (Research Problems). Jury members will consult this proposal to prepare their exam questions.

The written exam is composed of a controlled exam and a take-home assignment. Each segment counts for 50% of the written exam.

The controlled exam must include, for a total of 50 points: 

  • Questions about core subjects in the field of activity related to the dissertation (35% to 45%)
  • General questions about current topics or topics of general interest in the field of science and technology (5% to 15%).

The controlled exam takes place in the classroom during the final exam period on the university calendar. Students have a maximum of three hours and 30 minutes to answer the questions, which they receive on the day of the exam. 

As it is an open-book exam, students can consult the required reading materials to answer questions and demonstrate their mastery of the field. Calculators are allowed, but devices with Internet access are not (except for student groups who have obtained explicit permission from their research supervisor).

The take-home paper must include, for a total of 50 points:

  •  One or more themes on more specific subjects of specialization that are related to the topic of the dissertation. These themes may require the use of software tools for their resolution.

The take-home paper is written by the student. The theme(s) for the paper are sent to the student by email after the controlled exam. The student has a maximum of seven consecutive days from the date of the controlled exam to transmit (by email) his or her paper paper to the Graduate Studies Office. Any papers submitted after this time must be accompanied by a supporting document (medical letter, certificate of death, etc.) Without a supporting document, the take-home paper will not be accepted. Note: Since the Winter 2020 term, the period to complete the take-home assigment has been extended to 10 days; the actual due date will appear on the questionnaire).

As well, the take-home paper must meet the following conditions:

  • The paper must include a title page.
  •  You must use one of the following fonts and point sizes: Times New Roman (12) or Arial (11).
  • The paper must be written using good grammar and spelling.

2. Preparing and sending exam questions

During the first two weeks of the semester in which the written exam is scheduled to take place, the research supervisor sends the student the list of references suggested by the jury so that he or she can prepare for the written exam. The research supervisor also sends a copy of the reference list to the Graduate Studies Office. 

The research supervisor makes sure that jury members send their questions for the controlled exam and themes for the take-home paper in time. Jury members are not required to participate in each part of the written exam. However, the distribution of questions must be such that the point value of questions from the research supervisor is not greater than 65% of the total (exam + paper). If there is a co-supervisor, the total point value of questions from the research supervisor and co-supervisor must not exceed 80%.

The research supervisor or the secretary of his or her department prepares the exam layout. The name, author and point value (out of 50 points) must appear next to each question. 

The research supervisor must also make sure to send the written exam (in two separate parts) to the study management officer at the Graduate Studies Office on a date that the Office will specify.

3. Correction of the exam and results

The Graduate Studies Office is in charge of follow-up after the exam. Once the Office receives the student’s take-home assignment, it sends the paper and controlled exam notebooks to the research supervisor, who checks them and sends them to the jury members for correction. Jury members only correct the parts of the exam about which they asked a question or questions. 

The research supervisor receives the results from the jury members, compiles them and sends them in writing to the Graduate Studies Office no more than 20 working days after the exam is received for correction, using the Written Exam Results form. The supervisor also indicates the date for the oral exam (DGA1033) by checking the appropriate box on the form. 

The Graduate Studies Office sends the result to the student. If the student passes, he or she can then register for the oral exam (DGA1033). If the student fails, he or she will receive notice through his or her ÉTS email account that the course can be taken again next semester. If the student has already taken the exam for a second time, he or she is expelled from the program. 

4. Results

The final grading of the DGA1032 exam is Pass or Fail. For the student to pass the exam, the sum of both parts (controlled exam and take-home paper) must be at least 70/100, but neither part can be below 25/50.