Madison Research Essentials Toolkit

The Madison Research Essentials Toolkit (MRE Toolkit) is a suite of videos designed to prepare students for JMU’s graduation requirement, the Madison Research Essentials Skills Test (MREST). Because information literacy is a critical mission of the university, all students must take the test during their first academic year. The videos below are also useful for anyone who wishes to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of information literacy. Visit the Madison Research Essentials Skills Test (MREST) page of JMU’s General Education website to learn more about the information literacy requirements and taking the test.

Completing the MREST Requirement

Entering first-year students will be assigned the videos and practice exercises in their SCOM12X course via Canvas. After completing the tutorial content, you are ready to take the Madison Research Essentials Skills Test (MREST). You will need to complete the test in the Assessment Testing Center (ATC) located in the basement of Harper Allen-Lee Hall. Bring your JAC card to verify your identity.

Upon completion of the test, you will be notified if you passed, passed at advanced, or failed the MREST. If you fail, please re-review the tutorial content again and take the test again. The only restriction on completing the test, is that you can only take it once a day. If you find you need more specific, in-person tutor support, please visit the Communication Center located on the first floor of the Student Success Center.

Transfer students who arrive at JMU still needing to complete General Education coursework also need to take the MREST, but it will not be assigned in a class. Please review the tutorial content linked below and take the MREST in the Assessment Testing Center.

Academic Year 2021-2022 MREST Deadlines:

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.


Objectives for each section correlate to General Education Stated Information Literacy Outcomes.

Introduction to JMU Libraries

Scholarship is a Conversation

Objective: Recognize the components of scholarly work and that scholarship can take many forms.

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Objective: Demonstrate persistence and employ multiple strategies in research and discovery.

Research as Inquiry

Objective: Identify gaps in their own knowledge and formulate appropriate questions for investigation in academic settings.

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Objective: Evaluate the quality of information and acknowledge expertise.

Information Creation is a Process

Objective: Use information effectively in their own work and make contextually appropriate choices for sharing their scholarship.

Information Has Value

Objective: Use information legally and ethically.