Comprehensive exams can also be called preliminary exams as the results provide the information regarding the student if he or she is prepared to move into the dissertation phase of the degree or not. These exams look a little different at almost every university, and at times can even differ between programmes at the same school. They are usually held after completion of all required coursework. All doctoral candidates need to take this test within 36 months of enrolment in the PhD programme. They are commonly known as “comps”. In a few universities, it includes written and oral components while for a few they take the form of a time-limited written assignment with several unique questions.
This exam is mandatory to take for the students pursuing masters or PhD programmes as this ensures that student is knowledgeable enough within their field of research. If you are not passed, you need to take the test again as you are allowed to take this test twice before a different project is given. The evaluation of comprehensive exams is very different to the doctoral dissertation prospectus. It evaluates your preparedness both theoretically and practically.
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