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Journalism & Mass Communication

Punctuation, Usage, and Grammar (PUG)

Texas State University Journalism and Mass Communications students must earn a passing score (70%) on the Punctuation, Usage, and Grammar test or a letter grade of C or higher in MC 1100B-Grammar for Journalists before they can be admitted to the department in full-major status. Students transferring credit for Mass Communication 1313 from another institution of higher education may not take any courses for which Mass Communication 1313 is a prerequisite until they have passed the test. Students may take the test as many times as they wish. Students with disabilities who may require accommodations (alternative format, reader service, extended time, etc.) must contact the Office of Disability Services (512.245.3451) prior to taking the test. Verification of disability will be required.

The PUG is a computer-based exam with a 1 hour minute time limit . For PUG testing times, see Testing Lab Hours. These times are subject to change. Call the TREC at 512.245.2276 to verify test times. No pre-registration is required.

Bring a photo ID (Driver's license, student ID, passport). Test payment is made on the day of the test. For the first three attempts, the fee for the PUG is $40 by credit card, money order (payable to Texas State University), or exact cash. After the first three paid examinations, the fee is $20 per exam (i.e., attempt 4, attempt 5, and so on). This fee is collected upon test registration.
Note: TREC cannot provide refunds for any fees or other payments beyond one week from the date of payment.

Mass Comm students: It is the examinee’s responsibility to provide the three previous receipts as verification in order to qualify for each reduced fee.

Examinees who not have their receipts may email testingcenter@txstate.edu to request verification that they have taken at least three GSPs and/or PUGs. Verification will be emailed within 2 business days. Examinees must bring the printed verification to the testing center to qualify for the reduced fee. Please note that exams taken before January1, 2007 are not available. The email verification service will end May 31, 2015.

Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications students' PUG results may be obtained in person only in the Journalism and Mass Communication office, Room 102, Old Main on the day after they take the test.

This is a significantly different test from other writing proficiency tests, and no other tests may be substituted for it. Students are encouraged to study a grammar handbook that discusses grammar, usage, and punctuation rules. Some helpful study materials are:

When Words Collide by Lauren Kessler and Duncan McDonald
Grammar for Journalists by E.L. Callihan
Cliffs Verbal Review for Standardized Tests by Wm. A. Covino and Teeter Z. Orton
Brush Up: A Quick Guide to Basic Writing and Math Skills by Melvin Mencher and Wendy P. Shilton (CD-ROM).
Grammar 3D (CD ROM available at Alkek Library). Call Number: PE1128.B33 2000.