Chapter Local Exam
Developing a Chapter Local Exam for Initiates requires some basic decisions upfront to be answered.
- Who is responsible for overseeing the content of the exam and ensuring that it is appropriately covered in the Chapter Initiation program?
- How often will the exam content be reviewed and updated?
- What is the criteria for passing the local exam?
- What happens if someone does not pass the exam?
The National Membership Examination is reviewed annually and each summer a new edition is approved by the National Council for use by Chapters. Feedback is solicited by the Vice President of Membership Development in the spring from any chapters interested in participating in the process. Based on the feedback, an update to the exam is presented to National Council for approval. Chapters should consider a similar model so that there is an opportunity for Brothers to work together to enhance the quality of the Initiation program.
Ideas for content
Local vs. National Exam
Some chapters have expressed their desire that the national exam focus more on some content areas than it currently does. The reason is typically based on the chapter's belief that the content in question is greater value and/or emphasized more so in their Initiation program. In such cases, the chapter can utilize the local exam to supplement this content in a manner they feel matches their preference.
Your chapter's age will determine how much history is significant. For newly chartered chapters, this may be only a few questions like the date you were Chartered; the name of your Chapter's Founder (if you had one); and the first Chapter President.
You may have a local philanthropy or annual event that is significant to your chapter. If the majority of the Brothers feel it is an essential part of the Chapter's culture it may be something worth including.
Every Initiate should know who the Chapter leadership is and what their role entails. Whether this includes both Executive Board and Committee Chairs is up the Chapter.
Some chapters require that Initiates know their Chapter Family Line. This typically includes the lineage of the Initiate to his/her Big Brother; their Big's Big Brother (aka Grand-Big) and so on back to the start of the Family Line.
Has the chapter been the recipient of any National Awards (PSP) or campus awards?
If an alumnus has contributed greatly to the success of the chapter in the past or has achieved a special recognition in their own professional life that has brought significance to the chapter - this might be something to consider including. Suggestions include: Alumni who were elected to National Council; Distinguished Service Key recipient; Chapter Service Key recipient; Todd or Wood Scholarship recipient, etc...
What is not appropriate for an exam
Asking questions that are based on nicknames; inside-jokes; inappropriate situations (gossip/party stories), etc... are not things to be included on an exam. Chapters should treat a local exam with the same seriousness and attention as they do the national exam. Keeping the content and length of the exam within reasonable limits is important as well. Lastly, any content that the Chapter's Brothers would not reasonably know the answer to is something that Initiates should not be required to know either.
This section is for any Chapters who would like to share their ideas publicly with others on ideas/suggestions on how they have incorporated a local exam into their program.