The comprehensive examination is one of the most stressful hurdles for most people who dream of becoming a Ph.D. scholar. The examination establishes that you have the required knowledge and skills that are important to successfully complete the doctoral education. It represents a checkpoint that you should pass in order to continue your doctoral studies.
Here we will share some tips that can help you to greatly increase the chances of passing the Ph.D. comprehensive exam in the first attempt. Combine these tips with online exam software to test your knowledge and you will surely succeed.
You should start your study for the comprehensive exam by reviewing the basic study materials related to your field. You should look at test books, online sites, and notes to find out the seminal work related to your area. Focus on the basic contributions of the scholars and connect the themes and concepts. You may think it hard to grasp at first, but it will become easier with time when you review the study material later on. Add the information to an online test maker and test yourself regularly to make sure you have retained the information.
Once you have understood the basic concepts, you should next review advanced concepts. You should focus on the specifics of your field. Learn about the specific themes and try to make the connection. Consider reading recent journal articles that relate to your field.
Also, don't be shy of venturing outside your field to get a better understanding of the concepts related to your field. For instance, geometric Brownian motion which is a part of physics plays a part in certain mathematical concepts such as Merton's Distance to Default hypothesis in finance. Consider using online exam software to test yourself in these areas as well.
The oral examination is generally much easier than passing the written examination. During the oral examination, the committee members will ask you about the mastery of the central material related to your field.
The questions that the committee members ask generally relate to the dissertation proposal. So, it's important that you review your research proposal before the oral exam and think of expected questions that the committee members can ask you during the oral exam. Add these questions to a test maker and then go through them regularly to strengthen your responses.
You should use an online exam software or test maker to set up mock tests. This is an effective way to test your own learning. Consider enlisting the help of your teachers, or Ph.D. doctoral students who have passed the comprehensive examination.
In conclusion, if you have prepared well for the exam than passing it won't be a problem. Generally, most people pass the exam in the first attempt. The vast majority of people who take the exam for the second test also pass the test without any problem.
So, statistics are on your side when it comes to passing the exam. What you need is to prepare well for the exam. The tips mentioned here will greatly increase the chances of acing the Ph.D. comprehensive exam. Good luck!