The maturity test
The thesis involves a compulsory maturity test. According to the UAS decree (352/2003) section 10 “In order to gain a Polytechnic degree students must provide a written demonstration (a maturity test) of their knowledge of the topic discussed in their theses and competent language skills (in either Swedish or Finnish)”. The UAS is authorised to make decisions concerning the maturity test when the language skills stipulated in the Polytechnic decree (352/2003), section 8, paragraph 1 cannot be applied to a particular student or students. “If a student of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences has received his/her education abroad or in a language other than Finnish or Swedish, the Head of School is authorised to decide which language will be used in the maturity test.”
In the case above, the degree certificate will include an entry next to ‘Maturity Test’ as follows: “The student has written his/her maturity test in English (or another language approved by the Head of School) as required by the Polytechnic decree, sections 8 and 10.
Writing the Maturity Test
- Register for the maturity test as follows:
- All students who have presented their theses write the first maturity test on same day as their presentation (date must be agreed in advance) and there is no need to register. Every student who has presented his/her thesis must sit the first maturity test. If you fail the first test or if you sit the test during the following two general retake days you must register for the exam by filling in the exam envelope and submitting it to your teacher supervisor
- on a date agreed in advance (check room/place) when your thesis is almost ready or when you have already presented it. Your thesis supervisor will give you permission to sit the test.
- Completed under supervised exam conditions
- You have 2 H 15 min to complete the maturity test
- The length of the essay is approx one concept per line in writing.
- Hand written in clear handwriting
- Leave wide enough margins
- The maturity test involves writing about one subject that is relevant to your thesis topic using headings/titles provided by your supervisor (there should be 2 – 3 subjects/headings) in order to demonstrate your ability to discuss, in writing, issues related to your own field.
- Your piece of writing should be in essay form (introduction, discussion/main part, conclusion), creating a well organised, cohesive and independent whole. Define the concepts that you use and link the subject to its wider perspectives and combine what you have leant and your own thoughts. You must also be able to justify choices and consider the thesis process from a wider perspective that simply your own.
- You must imagine that the reader of your maturity test essay will be an expert in the same field unless more detailed instructions are provided
The text must be easy to read and understand. It should follow the rules of good academic style and its structure, linguistic form and appearance must be clear and logical. The text must be comprehensible even to someone not familiar with the contents of your thesis.
The maturity test is an independent piece of work and you should bear in mind the following principles that are taken into account when evaluating linguistic form:
- The Maturity Test contents must be relevant to the title given
- The Maturity Test clear beginning that introduces the subject. The introduction is followed by a closer examination of the main issues. Finally there must be a conclusion or summary. The subject must be described logically and the essay must form a cohesive whole.
- Your handwriting must be legible. Capital and small case letters and words must be distinguishable and easy to follow.
- The style should be academic without professional slang and language appropriate to speech.
- The text has to advance without the aid of figures and tables.
- The text must be divided into paragraphs leaving one complete line between paragraphs.
- Your text should be as accurate as possible, demonstrating your good knowledge of spelling and punctuation. Use abbreviations when appropriate.
- Sentence and clause cross-referencing should be accurate with well-woven expression.
- Use clear, unambiguous word order to create a text with a well-organised, cohesive structure.
- The content must demonstrate that you have in-depth, professional expertise as regards the thesis topic and process
- The contents comprise the key issues of the subject and maturity test title
- The text demonstrates the relationship between your own ideas and the original thesis text
- The content must not contain factual errors
- The contents must show that you are competent in the subject of your thesis and the process itself
- The contents must demonstrate that you are able to critically evaluate your own thesis process as a whole and the significance of your thesis to yourself and to your profession.
Students will receive feedback concerning their maturity test, within a stipulated time (approx. one week from when it was completed) from the teacher co-ordinator, during a feedback discussion.
Finnish students will also receive feedback from a Finnish language teacher if they fail their test. If you fail the maturity test you must register for a retake using the exam envelope, which must be submitted to the teacher co-ordinator. If you do not pass the test after three possible attempts you will have to attend a discussion involving the teacher co-ordinator, (Finnish) language teacher and teacher supervisor to consider the problem and how to solve it.
The thesis supervisor evaluates the content of your test and the (Finnish) language teacher evaluates the linguistic form of your test. Both the contents and linguistic form must be approved before a pass can be awarded. The test is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. You will fail the maturity test on account of poor linguistic form, if there are repeated errors or a variety of errors in sentence structure, punctuation, spelling mistakes and in the use of numerical expressions and units of measurement. A fail for poor content means that the factual information contains errors, the contents are not relevant to the heading or you do not have a grasp of your thesis subject and/or process.