COM 11400

(Please click here for information about the Purdue Presentation Center.)

COM 114, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, is a required course for many majors at Purdue and it fulfills the oral communication University Core Curriculum requirement. The course comprises the study of communication theories as applied to speech and involves practical communicative experiences ranging from interpersonal communication and small group processes to informative and persuasive speaking in standard speaker-audience situations.

COM 11400 Test Out

COM 114 credit can be awarded to students who successfully complete the Test Out process by passing a written exam and delivering an effective presentation.

Both exams must be passed to establish credit. A student must meet the following criteria in order to attempt credit by examination for COM 114:

  • Is officially enrolled at Purdue University.

  • Has not previously attempted the COM 114 test-out exam; each student may attempt only one test out of COM 114.

  • Is a newly admitted student or currently enrolled student who has not received a grade or directed grade in COM 114, other than a grade of W.

  • Is not currently enrolled in COM 114 during the semester that test out is being attempted.

  • Have a Form 231 from his/her academic advisor to submit at the time of the Written Exam (not applicable for incoming VSTAR students).

  • Can present a government-issued photo ID or his/her Purdue University Student ID at the time of the Written and Oral Exams.

COM 114 Test Out Information

Fall 2020 Test Out Information 

Written Exam

The COM 114 Test Out exam will be offered during two one-week-long windows during the Fall 2020 semester.  

First Session (deadline to register, 11:59 p.m. Thursday, September 3):

  • Written test window: Monday, September 7-14, 2020
  • Oral exam window: Monday, Sept. 21-28

Second Session (deadline to register, 11:59 p.m. Thursday, October 8):

  • Written test window: Monday, October 12-19, 2020
  • Oral exam window: Monday, Nov. 2-9

A $35 testing fee will be applied to a student's Purdue account when they sit to take the written test-out exam. This fee will be applied through the Bursar’s office at the end of the semester and added to the next semester’s tuition. All students qualifying for the PELL grant will have the exam fee waived. Please note that this exam fee is non-refundable. If you register yourself but do not take the written exam (and/or just take the practice test) no fee is applied.

Students who pass the written exam will be asked to give an oral presentation during the window stated above for your session (all students who pass the written test will receive the oral exam prompt at the same time, the next day after the written test window closes).

For a list of topics covered on the written exam and sample questions, please consult the COM 114 Test Out Study Guide.

Questions may be directed to testout@purdue.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What if I need testing accommodations? - When registering to take the COM 114 test please indicate you need testing accommodations on the second page of the form and the COM 114 Test Out team will reach out to you shortly. If you wish to proactively reach out to testout@purdue.edu to discuss your accommodation needs that is also acceptable. Any documentation you can share is appreciated. 
  2. How should I prepare for the written exam? - The COM 114 Test Out exam is not based off of any specific textbook but covers broad knowledge taught in most basic presentation themed college courses. Any collegiate textbook regarding public speaking should be sufficient in preparing for the exam. Some students report that a high school speech course also provided substantial background information.
  3. What type of picture identification is necessary? - Your Purdue ID is preferred, if that is not availalbe for some reason, valid government-issued identification is acceptable (driver's license, passport, military ID, etc.). Please ensure that your name is clearly visible along with your picture when you hold the ID to the camera.
  4. If I don't pass either the written or oral presentation, will it appear on my transcript or negatively affect my GPA? - If you do not pass either part of the COM 114 Test Out process nothing appears on your Purdue transcript. Your GPA is not affected, but you are still responsible for the $35 testing fee. 
  5. I passed the written exam, what's the next step? - You will be contacted via your Purdue email and Brightspace announcement shortly after your test window closes with information regarding the oral presentation phase of the test out process (this includes the speech topic, details for the remote presentation, time limits, visual aid requirements, etc.). 
  6. When taking the test, can I skip a question and come back to it? - Yes, you can. While the questions will be presented one at a time, you may answer them in any order you prefer.
  7. Why can I not see the correct answers to the questions I missed? - While the written exam utilizes a question pool of hundreds of communication-related questions, unfortunately, to keep the exam fair for all students, the questions (and their related answers) are not available after the exam is submitted.
  8. What happens in the above "windows" of time for the written exam and oral presentation? For the written exam, you are allowed to take the online exam at any time you wish. The Respondus software locks down your machine to prevent other software from being accessible as well as records the testing session using your computer's microphone and webcam.  For the oral presentation, you will have approximately one to two weeks to prepare and record a 4-6 minute presentation and submit a YouTube URL of your presentation to Brightspace during the one-week oral presentation window. Judges will then review your video to ensure all necessary competencies have been met.

Spring 2021 Test Out Information 

More details (including dates and registration information) will be posted approximately on December 1. 

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