Graduate English Competency Examination “GECE”

JSU Websites > Division of Graduate Studies > Graduate English Competency Examination “GECE”

This test is taken prior to registration or during the first term when the student begins work beyond the undergraduate level at Jackson State University. It is designed to show the strengths and weaknesses of each student in the areas of grammar and usage, logic, organization and content. Students unsuccessful on the English Examination must pass English 500-Advanced Laboratory Writing. The examination can be taken only once. It is expected that students who must take English 500 will do so no later than their second semester of enrollment.  A final grade of “B” or higher is considered passing in English 500.  ENG 500 does not earn credit in graduate degree programs. Information on specific dates can be obtained from the Division of Graduate Studies, the Graduate website and academic departments.


  • A first-time master’s student in their first semester of enrollment.
  • A currently enrolled student with a 3.0 or greater grade point average and no incomplete (I) grades.
  • The student must be registered for at least one credit hour in the semester which the examination will be given.  An audited course will not meet this requirement.


Administration of GECE

All students who intend to take the Graduate English Competency Examination must register through the prescribed university registration process. The GECE is offered three times a fiscal year- once during each semester, fall, spring and summer. A fifteen dollar ($15) assessment fee will be added to the student’s account after registering for the GECE. This fee will be assessed each semester thereafter for those registering for the examination until this requirement is met.

  • Please register with your advisor. Use this opportunity to confer with your advisor.
  • Your advisor will verify that your GPA is 3.0 and there are no incomplete (I) grades.
  • YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL at your JSU student email address with additional examination information.


What to bring to the exam

  • No. 2 pencils for the multiple choice section
  • Blue or black ink pens for the written section
  • A pocket dictionary
  • “Blue Book”, available in the JSU Bookstore
  • Photo ID, for example a JSU Supercard or Driver’s License


Policies and Procedures

  • Students may not take the exam as a walk-in.
  • Students who miss the registration deadline must apply to take the examination at the next scheduled date.
  • Student failing to take the examination on the date, must re-apply by the deadline on a subsequent test date.
  • Students may attempt the examination only once.
  • Students unsuccessful on the examination must complete ENGLISH 500 with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Students will not be declared eligible for the Graduate Area Comprehensive Examination (GACE) until this requirement is met.



  • Students in selected degree programs may meet this requirement by obtaining appropriate scores on the following examinations: GRE, GMAT and PRAXIS.
  • JSU undergraduate students may meet this requirement by entering the Division Graduate Studies immediately after graduation.
  • Please contact your department chair or graduate program advisor for eligibility.  The Division of Graduate Studies must receive written notification of students meeting the requirement via exemptions.


Online GECE 

  • The online-GECE is a timed test consisting of two parts:  objective and essay.  You will be allowed approximately two hours to complete the two parts of the exam. 

      For additional online and proctoring information, please contact JSUOnline.