Preparing for Comprehensive Exams
Most master’s and doctoral students at UNL are required to complete a written comprehensive exam, also known as “comps”, to enter candidacy for their degree program. This is usually the last major task you need to complete before you can begin your thesis or dissertation research.
Comprehensive exams may be scheduled at any time. Many students choose to schedule their comprehensive exam in the semester after completing their last course. Comps are the middle step in the road to your degree. They are usually sandwiched between completion of your formal course work and the writing of your dissertation.
What Will It Look Like?
What your written exam will look like depends on your academic department. You may be asked to respond to a series of 4-8 questions to test your broad knowledge of your academic area. In some fields, you may be asked to write papers or literature reviews and, in other fields, you may be asked to take an exam on content you should know. In most instances, the questions will be based on the coursework you have completed in your degree plan of study or will be directly related to the anticipated topic(s) of your thesis or dissertation. In some academic departments, the written exam may be followed by an oral defense or exam. Read more…
Some Tips for the Oral Exam
* Anticipate the questions and practice answering them out loud, speaking slowly and deliberately. Nervousness during your exam, can make you rush your speech. Read more…