These comprehensive exams are administered during the Au.D. student's third year - Fall Semester. The exams last 1-1.5 hours, are oral and are attended by at least three Audiology faculty. The exams cover clinical experiences and knowledge that students have gained during the program.
Rationale: The purpose of this exam is to ensure the clinical readiness of the Au.D. students prior to their fourth-year externships and to satisfy the UNL Office of Graduate Studies requirement for the students' application for admission to doctoral candidacy. The student's academic readiness for the completion of his or her final year of study and practice will be evidenced by his or her attainment of a minimum of a B average across all courses taken to that point in time.
Exam Structure: The student will be questioned regarding material presented and graded by clinical and academic faculty. The faculty will present three clinical cases at 15-20 minutes each. The clinical cases will include the needed history information about the clinical scenario to start the case. Pre-determined questions about the clinical scenario will be asked and any additional information about the scenario will be available upon request by the student. Additional test findings, when requested, will be presented in the form of raw test data to be interpreted by the student.
Nature of Clinical Cases: The clinical cases may involve one from each of the following areas:
- Complex diagnostic situation (Auditory, vestibular or both) that will involve the student having to request and interpret the correct tests to achieve the correct outcome for the specific patient's situation. [Adult]
- A rehabilitative case involving the selection, fitting and/or follow-up of a patient requiring a hearing aid. [Adult]
- A case that combines diagnostics leading to rehabilitative recommendations in the Auditory arena. [Child under age 5]
Nature of the Single Short-Answer Questions: These questions are on topics relevant to the clinical cases. All questions are designed for a brief answer format. These short-answer questions are integrated into the clinical case studies, as appropriate, and may involve information regarding basic audiological/vestibular concepts or clinical decision analysis.
Grading Structure: Each of the clinical cases has multiple parts. Each case is typically worth a maximum of 25 points. The single questions are worth 5 points per question. This typically brings the total number of points to approximately 100. The examination panel judges whether the correct answer was provided and the number of points awarded, out of the total available, for any given question. A total percentage score of 85% or better is needed to pass the examination. The final percent score is averaged across judges.
- A passing percentage score is 85 or better.
- A student can take the exam up to two times (i.e., one initial and one repeat).
- If a student fails the initial exam, then a) the start date for the fourth-year externship could be delayed and b) the student will be provided with a remediation plan. The remediation plan will be created by the AuD program coordinator in consultation with the AuD faculty. The remediation plan may include, but is not limited to:
- Meetings with faculty member(s)
- Assigned readings
- Clinic time
Examination Materials: A pool of clinical cases and single questions has been developed by the Audiology faculty. The clinical cases and single questions are kept on file and comprise a pool for rotation in various combinations.