What They Mean by “Comprehensive Exams”?
Comprehensive exams (or comps) are to be passed by doctoral students in order to obtain the title “doctoral candidate”. This will enable a candidate to get on with studying and preparing the PhD proposal (and later the PhD paper itself) on the chosen topic. The format of the comprehensive exams may vary from one educational establishment to another. The thing that stays unchanged is that you need to get the highest results during the test. As far as comps cover quite a broad spectrum of material you need to make all efforts to prepare in the best possible way.
Revising Material While Preparing
The best thing to start the preparation with is gathering all the materials of the course and revising them. Still, the point is not to randomly read them, but systematically go through them. Take notes while you read, use the abbreviations or schemes to make the material more clear to you. This will promote better memorizing and systematization of the material. Take your time and start the preparation several weeks before the comprehensive exams not to be taken aback.
Getting Help from Experienced Persons
They say it is also helpful to get the consultation of the more experienced students on comprehensive exams questions, content and format. They will tell you about their strategies in preparation and passing the exam. You may as well ask the faculty members or professors about the important issues in the preparation process. Do not be shy to share your difficulties with your scientific advisor. Indeed they will help you with comps preparation as well as with PhD proposal writing and formatting.
Be Brave and Self-Confident!
The last but not least tip on comprehensive exams preparation is: do not lose heart, be self-confident and brave and you will definitely succeed. The feeling of sureness in your own knowledge and skills will rescue in the minute of need (even if you do not know the answer for sure). You have no reasons to worry about the comprehensive exams or PhD proposal because you are a really persistent and indulgent student, aren’t you?