MREST for Academic Year 2021-2022

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.  A hold will appear on your account if you did not take the exam as required.  To remove it, complete the assessment immediately.  In regards to the timeframe of removing the "hold", read the "results" section below.

First Year Students including new transfers - 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.

First Year Students including new transfers - 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.

Adult Degree Program Students (All Incoming Fall 2021):
An ADP version is in development.  Have questions, please contact your advisor.

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). No appointments are necessary to take the test. You will need to show your JAC card to verify your identity.


Our office processes these test results on a weekly basis.  The process includes verification and posting of degree requirements. We ask that you check your academic requirements page in your My Madison account at the end of each week to see if your requirement has been posted.

To find this in your My Madison account, you would go to the student center tab.  On that page, look for “academic requirement” option in the drop down menu and click that link.

On there, you will look for General Education/Cluster One/Information Literacy section. In that section, it should tell you whether you have satisfied or not satisfied this requirement. 

  • If the MREST test is marked "satisfied" then you have fulfilled that requirement.
  • If it indicates "not-satisfied" on our the MREST test, then you haven’t fulfilled that requirement.

If there are any additional questions, please reach out to either our departmental mailbox at or the Cluster One Coordinator, Dr. Sarah Brooks at

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.

Back to Top