Civics Exam FAQ

What is the Civics Exam?

This exam covers the provisions and principles of American civics. The exam will cover United States history, constitution, and government.

Do I have to take it?

If you are a degree-seeking student who started classes at OTC in Fall 2019 or later then yes. If you have taken classes at OTC prior to Fall 2019, you may request a waiver by contacting the Dean of General Education. Additionally, if you enrolled in college-level coursework at ANY college or university (excluding dual-credit) prior to July 1, 2019 you are also exempt from the test and may seek a waiver from the Dean. College classes taken through OTC prior to Fall 2019 as a dual-credit Fast Track or Early Start student while in High School do not exempt you from this requirement.

What is the cost to take the exam?

The exam is free to OTC students.

Why do I have to take it?

It’s required by state law. A 2018 Missouri Senate bill requires “Any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution. ” 


“Entering a public institution of higher education for the first time” refers to students who enroll in an accredited college or university after high school graduation fall 2019 or later.

Where can I take the exam?

Beginning in Fall 2019, all degree-seeking students who started in Fall 2019 or later and have not yet taken the Civics Exam need to access the exam through the Civics Exam link on their Degree Audit.  Once you access the link via the Degree Audit, you will be taken to Canvas where you will click “join,” and a Civics Exam Course will appear on your Canvas Dashboard.  If you join the course in the Fall Semester and do NOT complete the exam, you will need to re-enroll in the course the following semester, via the above instructions.

How should I study for the exam?

Students can access a study guide available in the Canvas course along with the exam itself.

How will my exam be graded?

The test score will be a Pass/No Pass value. Students must get 35 questions correct to earn a “Pass” grade.

Where can I find my exam results?

You will see the results of your exam in Canvas as soon as you complete it. All passing scores will appear in a student’s degree audit. The results may take up to 45 days to show in the degree audit and be marked as complete.

Transcripts will show that students have passed the Civics Exam in the section that displays degrees, notes, events, etc.

How many times can I attempt the exam?

There is no limit to the number of times a student can take the exam. There is no “waiting period” until another attempt can be completed.

Is there a time limit to complete the exam?

There is no time limit to complete the exam. Students may exit the exam and resume where they left off.

What happens if I receive a “No Pass” grade?

Students may retake the exam if a “No Pass” grade is received. A “No Pass” grade will be indicated when students submit the exam in Canvas.

When is the deadline to take the Civics Exam?

Students can take the exam at any point prior to the date degrees are available on transcripts each term. Please refer to the Student Academic Calendar for specific dates. If you pass the exam after the date degrees are available on transcripts, you will graduate at the end of the following term.

I passed the exam as an OTC student, but I’m transferring to a different school. Do I have to take it again?

No. Transcripts of OTC students who transfer to other institutions will be evaluated and, if students have completed and passed the exam, a “Pass” score will be added to the institution’s student information system. 

Who can I contact with questions?

Please contact Gregory French the Department Chair for Social Sciences.

Springfield Campus Office: ICE 233

Phone: 417-447-8258