Comprehensive Exams









Comp Schedule

Grading of the exams is done by the professors based upon their own rubrics.  However, the grades are reported on a 100 point scale where 90-100 is A, 80-90 is B, 70-80 is C, 60-70 is D, and less than 60 is an F.  This gives us six grades.  The MFT is two, one-hour exams.  The ways  the data is reported gives many different options to look at the data.  However, after two years and 18 students, we figured out a method which has both decent correlation and consistent results to our other exams.  We take the “combined scaled score” and divide it by two to get it on a scale of 0 - 100.  That becomes the two scores for the two hours of exams.  Therefore, going into the oral, we have eight hours of grades which are averaged to the scale we have above.  Starting this year, we will give a grade for the oral to give nine hours of grades.  We then average the nine grades.  A’s get “distinction.”  B’s, C’s, and D’s get “pass.”  And F’s get “fail.”

The grading rubric for the oral exam can be found here. The grade for the oral exam will be the sum of the scores with the first score counted twice for a maximum score of 25, then the sum is multiplied by 4 to get a final grade between 0 and 100.  The committees’ grades will be averaged with a weighted average where Economics professors have a weight of 1.5 and others have weights of 1.  This average grade will be averaged with the grades for the eight written comps.  (The oral exam is 1/9th of the overall grade.)  Over 90% is distinction and below 60% is failure.  The rest are passing.  Borderline cases will be determined by the committee on a case by case basis.
Tips on studying for comprehensive exams:

  • Ask the professor that is writing the exam what should be studied.
  • Each professor is different, so the guidelines here may not apply.
  • The professor will generally ask what they feel is the most important topics.
  • A few professors may have typed study guides.
  • Look over your book, old notes, and tests.
  • Ask professors for your final exam from the course, if applicable.
Here is some addition advice from professors:
  • Prof. Csaplar. "If the exam is in a course that I taught you, then you should go to the finals from that course. Since the test you will be taking for my course will be much shorter than the final exam, you should only study the most important topics. (If you cannot find your final, then click here.)"

  • Prof. Yoo. Ask him.

Updated August 2014 by Webmaster.