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Biology Field Test

Biology Field Test

TCU Biology majors score in the 74-88th percentiles on the ETS® Major Field Test

The ETS® Major Field Test for Biology assesses mastery of concepts, principles and knowledge expected of students who have completed or are nearing completion of a specific program of study in Biology. The test has been developed by a national panel of subject matter experts, and is based on core curriculum content identified in a national program survey.  According to ETS, the test “evaluates students’ abilities to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret written and visual material. Test results provide information on how students perform in relation to other students in their program and at comparable programs nationwide.”  The ETS® Major Field Test for Biology consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, a number of which are grouped in sets and based on descriptions of laboratory and field situations, diagrams or experimental results. Some of the questions within each of the major areas are designed to test analytical skills.

All students intending to graduate from TCU with a biology major must take the Major Field Test for Biology during their senior year.  It is taken on a computer and requires about two hours.  TCU covers the cost of the administration.  The scores are made available to each student for personal growth and identification of weaknesses in their knowledge in four areas (Cell Biology, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Organismal and Populations/Evolution/Ecology).

The Department of Biology uses the MFT aggregate scores for assessment of the biology program. Since the MFT was first utilized at TCU in 2004, TCU students collectively have consistently scored above the national mean.   In addition, the TCU mean total score and four subscore areas have been consistently above the mean for other degree granting institutions in the fields of biology.  TCU students have scored in the 74-88th percentiles overall compared to other institutions.     More specific data is available in the office of Dr. Gail Jones, the biology department assessment chair.