The Comprehensive Exam
In many BYU M.A. programs the comprehensive exam is an opportunity for you to show your mastery of the material covered in your classes and on your reading list. Usually, students are given their reading list as soon as they are accepted into the program, and the test is administered towards the end of the program of study in the third or fourth semester. The method of testing varies according to the department, but usually consists of a final oral and/or written exam.
Tips for Success
- Look at your reading list as soon as you are accepted.
- Make a reading calendar for 15 months or so before your specialty exam.
- Make sure you can find all of the materials on your list.
- Use a tablet or online PDF marking program so you can save money in printing costs.
- Write summaries for each article your read.
- Coordinate your reading list with your course work.
- Finish all of your readings 4-6 weeks before your exam.
- Form a study group.
- Ask your committee chair for guidance on what you should study.
- Spend the last 4-6 weeks reviewing everything.