COM 11400

(Please click here for information about the Purdue Presentation Center.)

COM 114, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, is a required course for many majors at Purdue and it fulfills the oral communication University Core Curriculum requirement. The course comprises the study of communication theories as applied to speech and involves practical communicative experiences ranging from interpersonal communication and small group processes to informative and persuasive speaking in standard speaker-audience situations.

COM 11400 Test Out

COM 114 credit can be awarded to students who successfully complete the Test Out process by passing a written exam and delivering an effective presentation.

Both exams must be passed to establish credit. A student must meet the following criteria in order to attempt credit by examination for COM 114:

  • Is officially enrolled at Purdue University.

  • Has not previously attempted the COM 114 test out exam; each student may attempt only one test out of COM 114.

  • Is a newly admitted student or currently enrolled student who has not received a grade or directed grade in COM 114, other than a grade of W.

  • Is not currently enrolled in COM 114 during the semester that test out is being attempted.

  • Have a Form 231 from his/her academic advisor to submit at the time of the Written Exam (not applicable for incoming VSTAR students).

  • Can present a government-issued photo ID or his/her Purdue University Student ID at the time of the Written and Oral Exams.

COM 114 Test Out Information

Summer 2020 Test Out Information 

Written Exam

The COM 114 Test Out written exam has concluded for the summer. Information for Fall 2020 COM 114 Test Out Opportunities will be posted approximately around August 1st.

A $35 testing fee will be applied to a student's Purdue account when they sit to take the written test out exam. This fee will be applied through the Bursar’s office at the end of summer and added to the next semester’s tuition. All students qualifying for the PELL grant will have the exam fee waived. Please note that this exam fee is non-refundable.

Students who pass the written exam will be asked to give an oral presentation during the first week of the fall semester (specific details and oral presentation prompt will be communicated shortly after July 10).

For a list of topics covered on the written exam and sample questions, please consult the COM 114 Test Out Study Guide.

A $35 testing fee will be applied to your account around mid to late July 2020 only if you take the written exam. If you register yourself but do not take the written exam (and/or just take the practice test) no fee is applied.

Questions may be directed to

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What if I need testing accommodations? - When registering to take the COM 114 test please indicate you need testing accommodations on the second page of the form and the COM 114 Test Out team will reach out to you shortly. If you wish to proactively reach out to to discuss your accommodation needs that is also acceptable. Any documentation you can share is appreciated. 
  2. How should I prepare for the written exam? - The COM 114 Test Out exam is not based off of any specific textbook but covers broad knowledge taught in most basic presentation themed college courses. Any collegiate textbook regarding public speaking should be sufficient in preparing for the exam. Some students report that a high school speech course also provided substantial background information.
  3. I'm a VSTAR attendee, do I need a form 231? - No, Form 231 is only needed by students who are attempting to test out of COM 114 after they have attended at least one semester of courses at Purdue University. Students who passed the summer written exam and are not first-year students (sophomores through seniors) will be contacted regarding form 231 validation shortly after July 10.
  4. If I don't pass either the written or oral presentation, will it appear on my transcript or negatively affect my GPA? - If you do not pass either part of the COM 114 Test Out process nothing appears on your Purdue transcript. Your GPA is not affected, but you are still responsible for the $35 testing fee. 
  5. I passed the written exam, what's the next step? - You will be contacted via your Purdue email and Brightspace announcement shortly after July 10th (end of VSTAR) with information regarding the oral presentation phase of the test out process (this includes the speech topic, details for on-campus and remote presentation options, time limit, visual aid requirements, speech dates & times, etc.). We are tentatively aiming for the oral presentation to take place around the first week of the Fall semester (Aug. 24-29), so you will have over a month to prepare.
COM 114 Test Out Information

Fall 2020 Test Out Information 

More details (including dates and registration information) will be posted approximately on August 1. 

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