Exemption Exams

A few notes on Exemption Exams:

While there is no harm in taking an exemption exam (provided that you don’t go crazy studying!), you should carefully consider the pros and cons of exempting out of a class. Please note, you are not required to exempt a class if you pass the exception exam – taking and passing the exam simply gives you the OPTION to exempt. 

As a reminder, please carefully review the exemption exam information located in the Student Guide, including the Exemption Exam FAQs. Additional information regarding exemption exams, including exam prep materials, will be available via Angel. For more information regarding exemption exams, please email MBA Exemptions at exemptions@gsb.columbia.edu.

And, to clarify, exempting is not the same as completing a class. You don’t get credit (or a grade), and you’ll still need to take the same number of classes (i.e., an additional elective) to graduate. Exempting just means you don’t have to take that particular class to complete the core curriculum

Lastly, your PAs and the GBA Honor Board want to remind you that it is not permissible (actually it is a violation of our Honor Code) to use materials or notes from current or previous Columbia Business School students or alumni as prep for the upcoming exemption exams (but you may consult a textbook from college or an online resource as additional reference material). 

4 responses to “Exemption Exams

  1. Ira Simkhovitch

    Is there any point to taking an exemption exam for a term A course without an accompanying exemption term B course (or visa versa)? Seems that there are not many half term course options to fill an open term A or term B slot outside of the core offerings.

  2. Hi Ira, you can definitely just take an exemption exam for either an A-term or B-term class and find electives offered in either term. You will find that taking an A-term and B-term exemption opens up more elective options for the full semester, but in my experience there are still lots of courses to choose from in either A or B term. The link: http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/students/mba/inclass/courseselection should help give a sense of the range of both full-term and half-term classes offered.

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  4. Chris Ratkovsky

    My $0.02… exempt everything you can! Don’t take a course if you already know the material – it’s a total waste of time (and the CONS of exempting are overrated – it’s a good opportunity to take courses outside of CBS, before better electives open up). If it’s been a while since you used/studied the material, it’s worthwhile doing some prep before the exemption exam too, they’re harder than most expect.

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