MREST for Academic Year 2021-2022

Transfer and returning students:
Students coming back to campus who did not meet their MREST requirement in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will still need to meet the requirement. First, double-check your MyMadison account to verify that you still need to meet the requirement. If it states that you haven't "satisifed" the Informational Literacy requirement (MREST), you will need to complete it.

Incoming Students - Fall Semester (2021):
First year students registered for SCOM100-level course would need to fulfill this requirement before November 2021 in order to avoid a registration hold.

Incoming Students - Spring Semester (2022):
First year students registered for SCOM 100-level course would need to before mid-April 2022 in order to avoid a registration hold.

Where to take the MREST: 

Go to the Assessment Testing Center located in the basement of Harper Allen-Lee (formerly Valley) Hall (entrance faces the quad). You must make an appointment to complete the test. Appointments can be scheduled via this email address: You will need to show your JAC card to verify your identity.

For more details about the MREST is listed below. 

Madison Research Essentials:  Information Literacy Competency @ JMU

James Madison University believes that the fundamental knowledge and skills you need to navigate the landscape of scholarly information are necessary for successful completion of your university classes.  Information literacy skills are foundational to your university coursework and as such are included in Cluster One of General Education.  All students completing General Education at JMU are required to pass the Madison Research Essentials Skills Test (MREST) within the first academic year at JMU. 

Information Literacy Competencies

The Madison Research Essentials Toolkit, Practice Exercises and the MREST are designed to help you develop and achieve the following student learning outcomes.

  • Recognize the components of scholarly work and that scholarship can take many forms.
    • Knowledge, skills, dispositions required: recognizing the hallmarks of scholarship regardless of form, matching an information need to a suitable source, recognition of the University as a specific type of information landscape, creativity in using a variety of scholarship in their own work
  • Demonstrate persistence and employ multiple strategies in research and discovery processes
    • Knowledge, skills, dispositions required: choosing appropriate research tools, employ efficient searching techniques, recognize that searching is a skill that requires multiple attempts to find the most useful information
  • Identify gaps in their own knowledge and formulate appropriate questions for investigation in academic settings
    • Knowledge, skills, dispositions required: an openness to explore new and challenges topics and projects, a willingness to find how scholarship leads to further understanding, a willingness to investigate prior knowledge or assumptions, ability to formulate a manageable research question suitable for an academic audience.
  • Evaluate the quality of information and acknowledge expertise
    • Knowledge, skills, dispositions required: understand the significance of credentials and traits that make an expert an expert. Distinguish between what counts as high quality information in an academic setting.  An ability to verify claims with evidence.
  • Use information effectively in their work and make contextually appropriate choices for sharing their own scholarship.
    • Knowledge, skills, dispositions required: Effective use source material within their own work regardless of platform (paper, presentation, poster, etc.), using technology or platforms effectively to help an audience or reader understand the purpose of a work.
  • Use information ethically and legally.
    • Knowledge, skills, dispositions required: Recognize that scholarship has value to an author, distinguish between original and attributed ideas and effectively cite utilized sources.

JMU offers you three opportunities to acquire these skills. 

  1. Course-related assignments that require students to find information.
  2. Madison Research Essential Skills Toolkit, is available on the library webpage and is useful throughout your university career
  3. Madison Research Essential Skills Tutorial.  This tutorial is completed by students enrolled in SCOM100 level courses.

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