Subject Examination Descriptions

Each student has the opportunity to select three exam options in the Linfield Member Questions section of the Common Application. Students are encouraged to select the three exams they feel they could be most successful with - and not those areas they necessarily plan to major in.

Accounting

The Competitive Scholarship Exam in accounting consists of a set of essay questions about a business scenario related to accounting. A description of the scenario will be provided at the time of the exam. This exam is open to all students who have an interest in studying accounting; no experience or prior coursework in accounting is necessary. Excellent answers will demonstrate 1) an understanding of the main points described in the scenario; 2) thoughtful and thorough analysis of key business issues as called for in the exam questions; and 3) clear and coherent expression of thought.

Time allowed: 90 minutes
No books, notes, or other resources are permitted during the exam.

Art

The art exam consists of three parts: 

1. ESSAY: Write an essay (2-3 pages typed) addressed to the department faculty articulating the importance of artistic activities in your life and education, and why you are interested in art as a personal, lifelong passion. This should be completed prior to the event.

2. QUESTIONNAIRE: Included with this invitation is a questionnaire to be completed prior to the event. There are neither right nor wrong answers; we are simply interested in learning about your exposure, taste and interests.

3. SIX ORIGINAL WORKS OF ART: At least two of which are to be drawings in charcoal, graphite or pastel. Each is to be about 16 x 20”. They need not be matted or framed. These two drawings should be done from direct observation, not from photographs or any other pre-existing graphic material. They need not be realistic, per se; in fact they may be highly abstracted. The remaining four works of art should be recently completed in any medium or combination of media, including drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, design, sculpture, video, etc.

Biology

The examination will consist of short written responses after observing and conducting biological experiments.

No special equipment or calculators are necessary for the examination.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Chemistry

The exam consists of four multi-part problems plus an essay. Please note that although the essay topic is made available in advance, the essay submitted for the exam must be written during the scheduled exam time on the provided exam paper. Non-programmable calculators are permitted and will be provided if you do not bring your own.

Essay topic: Why do you believe atoms exist? Give examples of observed physical and chemical properties and explain why the observations are best explained by the existence of atoms.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Communication Arts and Intercultural Communication

The Communication Arts and Intercultural Communication examination consists of three parts.

1: The first essay is a response to a communication situation presented in the form of a short video clip of a face-to-face interaction. In the essay, you will be asked to discuss your observations of the verbal and nonverbal messages presented by the participants in the video clip and explain the messages you believe are being communicated. This essay will be written during the exam.

2: The second essay consists of a personal essay that provides a brief autobiographical summary, describes your personal goals, and explains why you believe the study of human communication is important in the world today. This typed essay (two pages max and double-spaced) should be written prior to the exam.

3: For the third part of the examination, you will engage in a brief interview with faculty and students in the Communication Arts Program. As part of this process, you will present a formal, three-minute speech about a public figure (historical or contemporary) you find interesting or inspirational. Your speech about this person should explain how she or he has made positive contributions to society. You may use one 3”x5” note card during the speech.

Time allowed for written exam: 20 minutes
Time allowed for oral exam: 10–12 minutes

Computer Science

The computer science exam will consist of a set of problems that are intended to test the type of thinking required in the area of computer science. No particular computer skills are needed for the exam. Instead, you will be asked questions that test your ability to think clearly, logically and analytically. Calculators not allowed.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Creative Writing

The English Department offers two different scholarship opportunities: one supports students interested in creative writing; the other supports students interested in literary study itself. On Competitive Scholarship Day, students will spend their two hours with the English Department this way:

Hour One:  English faculty will lead seminar discussions of a selected literary passage with groups of approximately 12 students. 

Hour Two:  Scholarship applicants will then have an opportunity to write an essay reflecting on the discussion in which they've just participated and how it has expanded their understanding of the passage in question. 

ALL APPLICANTS should bring the following with them on the day of the examination: 

Candidates should bring a five-page sample of their own creative work to campus that day. Poems should be printed in 12 point type, single-spaced, with a single space between any stanzas. Prose ought to be printed double-spaced with adequate margins. In addition, a single page cover sheet should include your name, a list of the work (or works) in the sample, and the genre for each of these works. You should also introduce the writing sample with a one-page essay commenting in some way on your own writing experience, interests, or aspirations. There's no right or wrong in terms of what to include in this portfolio: choose the works that you think best represent you as a creative writer. Other than genre identifications, no description or discussion should be included. The cover sheet and the five pages of original work should all be stapled together. Your writing sample will be collected from you at the time of the exam.

Economics

The economics competition is a two-part examination. The first part will consist of multiple-choice questions that test basic economic knowledge and reasoning skills. The second part is a written essay that will test your understanding of economic concepts, your analytical skills, and your ability to communicate in writing about economic issues of national or international concern. You will answer two essay questions, one focusing on microeconomics, the other addressing macroeconomics. For each essay you will have two questions from which to choose.

Time allowed: 2 hours.
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Education

The Education competition will consist of a writing assignment designed to assess:

• Analytical skills
• Depth of understanding
• Personal voice and perspectives
• Writing ability

Two essay questions, related to the short video provided below, will be given, one focused on a contemporary education issue and one that relates to the candidate’s personal experiences within the field of education.

Dylan Garity’s performance at the 2013 National Poetry Slam:

http://www.upworthy.com/teaching-children-in-this-awful-way-is-like-helping-a-person-who-is-on-fire-by-drowning-them

You may take notes about the video, which you are welcome to use during the exam session. Notes must be limited to one 4 x 6 notecard (front and back).

Time allowed: 90 minutes
Notes limited to one 4 x 6 notecard (front and back) will be permitted in the exam.

Environmental Studies

Students who choose the environmental studies exam will be asked to answer questions about global climate change. I strongly urge students interested in taking this exam to investigate the topic on line at a reliable web site such as the ones at NASA or NOAA.

Essays will be evaluated according to how well the author demonstrates 1) an understanding of underlying scientific causes, 2) knowledge of the consequences the issue will have on both ecosystems and humans, and 3) an ability to present a coherent public policy response related to climate change.

Time allowed: 90 min.
Notes allowed in exam: no

Finance

The Competitive Scholarship Exam in finance consists of a set of essay questions about a business scenario related to finance. A description of the scenario will be provided at the time of the exam. This exam is open to all students who have an interest in studying finance; no experience or prior coursework in finance is necessary. Excellent answers will demonstrate 1) an understanding of the main points described in the scenario; 2) thoughtful and thorough analysis of key business issues as called for in the exam questions; and 3) clear and coherent expression of thought.

Time allowed: 90 minutes
No books, notes, or other resources are permitted during the exam.

Government, Law and Politics

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, this competition involves an essay examination based on a reading included with the student's invitation packet. An interest in the areas of politics, government, current affair or law suffices for preparation. No formal coursework in politics is required.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Health and Human Performance

The department of Health, Human Performance and Athletics (HHPA) encompasses three major areas of study: Athletic Training, Health Education and Human Performance.  Within the Human Performance area of study students can choose from one of three concentrations: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Fitness Studies and Exercise Science.  The HHPA competitive exam provides prospective students the opportunity to write two essays from the major areas of study and concentrations within the HHPA department.

To prepare for the scholarship exam prospective students should review: 

  1. The principles of sports medicine and rehabilitation.
  2. The information on the Social Ecological Model
  3. The factors that are impacting health outcomes at different stages of the life cycle.
  4. The adaptations which occur when training for a particular sport or event.
  5. The health related benefits of physical activity.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

History

The history competition consists of an essay exam based on a reading that will be included in the student’s invitation packet.

Student essays will be evaluated according to demonstrated analytical skills, the ability to interpret historical documents, an awareness of historical causality, skill in using historical evidence, and writing ability. Participants should bring their own writing utensils; paper will be provided. 

Time allowed: 2 hours
No notes will be permitted during the exam; students will be provided with a copy of the reading.

International Business

The Competitive Scholarship Exam in international business consists of a set of essay questions about a business scenario related to international business. A description of the scenario will be provided at the time of the exam. This exam is open to all students who have an interest in studying international business; no experience or prior coursework in international business is necessary. Excellent answers will demonstrate 1) an understanding of the main points described in the scenario; 2) thoughtful and thorough analysis of key business issues as called for in the exam questions; and 3) clear and coherent expression of thought.

Time allowed: 90 minutes
No books, notes, or other resources are permitted during the exam.

International Relations

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the International Relations Major, this competition involves an essay examination based on a reading included with the student's invitation packet. An interest in the areas of politics, government, current affair or law suffices for preparation. No formal coursework in politics is required.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Literature

The English Department offers two different scholarship opportunities: one supports students interested in creative writing; the other supports students interested in literary study itself. On Competitive Scholarship Day, students will spend their two hours with the English Department this way:

Hour One:  English faculty will lead seminar discussions of a selected literary passage with groups of approximately 12 students. 

Hour Two:  Scholarship applicants will then have an opportunity to write an essay reflecting on the discussion in which they've just participated and how it has expanded their understanding of the passage in question. 

ALL APPLICANTS should bring the following with them on the day of the examination: 

Candidates should bring a 3-5 page critical essay written for a literature class and of which you are especially proud. It should be work completed in the last year or so.  The essay should be double-spaced with appropriate margins (1.5"-2") You should also include a one-page introduction to your essay that reflects upon what you learned about the work you analyzed as a result of having written the essay.

Management

The Competitive Scholarship Exam in management consists of a set of essay questions about a business scenario related to management. A description of the scenario will be provided at the time of the exam. This exam is open to all students who have an interest in studying management; no experience or prior coursework in management is necessary. Excellent answers will demonstrate 1) an understanding of the main points described in the scenario; 2) thoughtful and thorough analysis of key business issues as called for in the exam questions; and 3) clear and coherent expression of thought.

Time allowed: 90 minutes
No books, notes, or other resources are permitted during the exam.

Marketing

The Competitive Scholarship Exam in marketing consists of a set of essay questions about a business scenario related to marketing. A description of the scenario will be provided at the time of the exam. This exam is open to all students who have an interest in studying marketing; no experience or prior coursework in marketing is necessary. Excellent answers will demonstrate 1) an understanding of the main points described in the scenario; 2) thoughtful and thorough analysis of key business issues as called for in the exam questions; and 3) clear and coherent expression of thought.

Time allowed: 90 minutes
No books, notes, or other resources are permitted during the exam.

Mass Communication 

You need only to be interested in studying media and/or journalism to participate. No previous formal coursework in media or journalism is required. The Mass Communication competition consists of two parts: a review of your work samples or a timed essay and an individual interview.

Work Sample Review or Timed Essay

Work Samples: Prepare one or more samples of original work that demonstrate your interests and experience in media production. You may include a mixture of work, including journalism, videos, audio or radio pieces, design projects (e.g., print or web layout, graphics), advertising, blogging, or other forms of media. The collection should include at least one substantial example of your writing. This collection may be organized in paper form or composed in an online format, such as a website or online portfolio service. You should be prepared to discuss your collection of work with Mass Communication faculty during your individual interview. (If your work samples are online, you will be able to demonstrate them during this discussion.)

Timed Essay: Alternatively, if you do not have a portfolio of media projects to share, you may write a timed essay on Competitive Scholarship Day. The essay is a response to a media text and question that are provided in advance. Please note that although the essay prompt is made available in advance, the essay submitted for the exam must be written during the scheduled exam time. A computer will be provided. You will discuss your analysis with Mass Communication faculty during your individual interview.

Time allowed: 1 hour
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Individual Interview
You will have an individual interview with Mass Communication faculty on Competitive Scholarship Day to discuss your background, goals, and interests, as well as either your portfolio or finished timed essay.

Mathematics

The mathematics competition is designed to measure the participant's knowledge, background, interest, and ability in mathematics and general problem solving. Participants will be asked to solve four to six problems of a general nature. The problems do not come from a particular subject and may be solved with a variety of approaches. Participants' work will be evaluated on approach, organization, and ability to communicate, as well as completeness and accuracy. Please bring pencils to the exam, but it is not necessary to bring a calculator due to the nature of the questions.

Time allowed: 2 hours

Modern Languages-French

The French scholarships will be awarded on the basis of a written examination and an oral interview.

The written part will be made up of three sections: writing, reading comprehension and listening comprehension. The speaking portion consists of a 15-minute conversation in French with the exam proctors in which a student’s overall abilities with the language are assessed.  Depending on proficiency level, the topics addressed in the conversation range from self-description, likes and dislikes, to the student's family and familial activities, as well as the student's plans and opinions.  The conversation is conducted in such a way as to allow each candidate to use as much of what s/he has learned as possible.  

The French section seeks students who demonstrate motivation in learning the language and furthering their exposure to French speaking cultures.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Modern Languages-German

The scholarships in modern languages will be awarded on the basis of a written examination and an oral interview.

The written exam will test reading, writing and aural comprehension. The oral interview consists of a 20-minute interview in which a student’s overall abilities with the language are assessed. The department selects those students who have developed their language proficiency to the highest levels in relation to the time they have been exposed to the foreign language.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Modern Languages-Japanese

The scholarships in modern languages will be awarded on the basis of a written examination and an oral interview.

The written exam will test reading, writing and aural comprehension. The oral interview consists of a 20-minute interview in which a student’s overall abilities with the language are assessed. The department selects those students who have developed their language proficiency to the highest levels in relation to the time they have been exposed to the foreign language. Please note that insofar as Japanese is a less commonly taught language, the examination is necessarily demanding. Several years of solid high school level Japanese education, at a minimum, are strongly recommended. Please note that native or near-native speakers of Japanese (those who received secondary education in Japan, lived in Japan for more than 5 years, and/or studied at least six years in a Japanese immersion program) may not take the test.

The written portion of the Japanese examination tests students’ abilities to read and write Japanese using Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. In order to attempt this exam, the candidate should have a working knowledge of at least 200 kanji characters.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Modern Languages-Spanish

The Spanish scholarship is awarded to students who can use Spanish in meaningful, communicative ways, with a high degree of accuracy, rich vocabulary, and variety in sentence structure. Best candidates are then those who have had productive oral and written practice and can create strings of sentences that show structural and communicative cohesion, in conversation and in writing.

The Spanish section selects those students who have developed their language proficiency to the highest levels in relation to the time they have been exposed to the foreign language. We also seek students who demonstrate motivation in learning the language and furthering their exposure to Spanish speaking cultures.

Bilingual students’ language production is assessed with different criteria, rather than against non-bilingual students.

Two Types of Assessment

A 20-minute individual conversation with one of the Spanish professors will test the ability of each candidate to use Spanish in spontaneous conversation. The interview includes personal experiences, involvement in the community or with Latinos, and other experiences that have enriched the candidate’s education and personal life. All candidates must show the ability to speak Spanish in formal contexts.

The two written essays ask students to speak about their personal experience in diverse communities and to address the importance of Spanish in the 21st century.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes or dictionaries will not be permitted in the exam.

Music - Composition, Instrumental and Vocal

If you are participating in the All-Northwest Music Conference on February 19, you may request to audition for the Competitive Scholarship Award in Music at Linfield College on Sunday, February 26. Please indicate this request on the Music Scholarship Application Form and on the CSD response form.

All participants auditioning in music for the Competitive Scholarship Awards will automatically be considered for all other music scholarship and grant awards, such as Music Achievement Awards and Participation Grants. Students may audition in voice, piano/instrumental music, or music theory/composition. Up to three awards may be offered in each category (vocal, piano/instrumental and music theory/composition). 

Music Theory/Composition:
High school students who are currently takingMusic Theory or AP Music Theory are encouraged to apply for this award. Participants will interview in person and complete a music theory exam to demonstrate music skills and comprehension or submit up to three samples of original music with a recording (CD, DVD, YouTube, MP3, or MIDI) and score when possible. Students may be asked to sight-read music and answer questions about their music interests. Total audition time is 30 minutes (exam), 10 minutes (interview).

Performance: Piano/Instrumental and Vocal:
Participants will be expected to perform prepared solos by two different composers, or one longer composition that demonstrates contrasting styles. Performers are to show versatility in style and may perform portions of one or more compositions. Music participants will also be tested on their ability to sight-read material selected by the Department of Music. Each performer is allotted 10 minutes for the audition time (six minutes of prepared music and four minutes for sight reading and conversation with the faculty). Prior to the audition, performers who need an accompanist will have time to rehearse with one of our staff accompanists. 

Students participating in the music exam must submit the Music Scholarship Application Form to the Department of Music. Participants will receive a written confirmation from the Department of Music of their audition date and time before arriving on campus. Please note rehearsal and audition times may conflict with other event programming throughout the day.

Performers who need an accompanist must also send a copy of the music no later than February 10.

Please send the Music Scholarship Application form and accompanist music as follows:

Via email to:
Shelly Sanderlin, Music Administrative Coordinator
Phone: 503-883-2275

Or mailed to:
Department of Music
Attn: Competitive Scholarship Day Audition
Linfield College
900 SE Baker Street
McMinnville, OR 97128

Nursing

Students participating in the Nursing exam will be asked to:

Read the article, A Nursing Workforce Diversity Project: Strategies for Recruitment, Retention, Graduation, and NCLEX-RN Success, in advance of the event.

Come prepared to write an essay, including answers to the following questions:

  1. Why is it important to increase the diversity of students in schools of nursing?
  2. What benefits are related to having a diverse and inclusive nursing workforce?
  3. Describe major components of the program for underrepresented nursing students at St. Louis University that led to their retention in and graduation from the university.
  4. As a high school student and consumer of healthcare, what did you find most interesting about this article?

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Philosophy

There is no prompt or question to be prepared in advance. One of the faculty members will give a 15-20 minute lecture on a philosophical topic of her or his expertise. Students will then be given a prompt related to the presentation which they will use to write an essay that will summarize main claims and critically assess those ideas.

Physics

The physics competition consists of fifteen possible problems from which ten may be chosen. The exam is designed to test knowledge about fundamental concepts in mathematics, physics, and general problem solving. Students who are currently enrolled in a high school physics course, or who have recently taken one, will be prepared for this exam. A calculator is permitted but not necessary.

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Psychology

You are going to be asked to contrast two different perspectives in psychology (e.g. developmental, social, cognitive, biological, abnormal, or personality) in explaining a recent event. The event will be provided at the time of testing.
 
Students who are currently enrolled in or have recently taken AP or IB Psychology should be adequately prepared.  If you have not, reviewing a few chapters of an Introductory Psychology textbook regarding different viewpoints is recommended.
 
The event will be a recent news event or part of a Ted talk with a paragraph or two supporting info. then the students will be asked to "contrast two different perspectives in psychology (e.g. developmental, social, cognitive, biological, abnormal, or personality) in explaining the event you were presented”

Time allowed: 2 hours
Notes will not be permitted in the exam.

Religious Studies

The exam will be an essay response to a series of film clips. At the beginning of the exam time, the student will watch clips with religious themes from 3 different movies. Scripts from the movie scenes and exam questions will be distributed. The exam will consist of a number of questions and topics related to the clips, and the student will need to formulate a position and respond to the given questions/topics. Supporting evidence for the position should come from the films and the student’s experiences. Students need not watch the movies in their entirety prior to the exam, but they may want to. Examples of possible films/series include the Harry Potter series, Star Wars, The Matrix, etc.

In this essay, we are looking at your depth of response and your ability and willingness to engage in a diverse range of religious questions and traditions. We are also assessing your ability to engage the films, work with them as primary texts and effectively communicate your thoughts. Formal coursework in religious studies is not required for this competition, though you should give evidence of an interest in and openness to the study of religion in all of its forms, ancient and modern. A sample exam is available for review.

Time Allowed: 2 hours

Sociology & Anthropology

The article by Phillipe Bourgois "Poverty at Work: Office Employment and the Crack Alternative” highlights how employment shifts can impact people.  Draw from the article to identify a current situation, in the U.S. or another country, in which social forces similarly impact individuals and their livelihoods. In your essay, compare and contrast your example with that in the Bourgois article.

At the exam, you will be provided an exam book and a copy of the reading. You may also bring one 3x5 index card with notes. If you do bring a card, you'll be expected to turn it in with the exam.
Time limit: 60 minutes.

Theatre

Due to the Theatre department's participation in The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Regional program February 20-24, the Theatre exam will take place on Saturday, February 18. Students invited to participate in the theatre exam will receive additional details in their invitation packet, and are encouraged to spend Saturday evening on campus and participate in the full program on Sunday.

The faculty and students of the Theatre Arts Program will interview students interested in many areas of theatre.

Students focusing primarily on acting/directing should prepare two contrasting audition pieces that illustrate the range of their acting talent. The combined pieces should not exceed 5 minutes.

Design students (scenic, lighting, costume, sound) should bring a portfolio of their work and be prepared to discuss their design experience and/or during the interview.

Technical theatre, business or promotions students should prepare a narrative explaining their experience and interest in their particular fields of theatre. If materials are available, these students are encouraged to bring portfolios as well.

As part of the process, students will have an opportunity to discuss the Linfield Theatre Program with current students.

All students must send a resume and a letter of recommendation from their drama teacher or director to the Office of Admission by February 8. They may also be emailed to csd@linfield.edu.

The audition/interview process should discover the generally talented student as well as the exceptionally talented student. Both will be given equal consideration.

Time allowed for audition: 5 minutes
Time allowed for interview: as necessary