Comprehensive Examination Suggestions for Preparation

The examination is a general examination covering broad areas.  It is not intended to be an achievement test in the various courses or areas.  The examination is designed to give you, the graduate student, an opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and understanding in your teaching area.  Questions are designed so that you can make application of your knowledge and study to the school setting.

The examination will be given in a three-hour block. You will be given five questions based on the course work in your area of concentration.  You will choose any three of these five questions to answer.  This will allow approximately one hour per question. Click here to view the Comprehensive Examination Video.

  1. The questions will be based on the objectives for the various courses.  Review the syllabus for the course and see if you have met the objectives for the course.  
  2. A general review of each course taken is recommended.  You should review the textbook, class notes, handouts, examinations, and readings in each course subject to the examination.  Make note of significant research and contributions of experts in the field or area.  Be prepared to cite such authorities to support your answer.  
  3. Look for ways in which the course content is related to the overall goals of public education.   Note innovations and trends especially in your area of concentration.
  4. If a course was taken four or five years ago, you would profit from reviewing a current textbook or reading recent articles related to that area.  
  5. Writing skills are an important aspect of the examination. You will be expected to write answers that reflect correct grammar, usage, and writing style. Problems with writing expression may keep you from passing the examination.  
  6. A planned review over a period of time is recommended rather than a last minute cramming sessions in an attempt to memorize information and data. 
  7. A note of caution: Be sure that you carefully read each question before answering it.  Sometimes students do not respond to the question asked.  You will not be given credit for writing that is not an attempt to answer the question.  It will help if you outline your response to the question on the inside page of the blue book before you start writing your response.
  8. A copy of the scoring rubric used by the faculty is enclosed or can be found on the website so that you can see how your examination will be evaluated.  You must average a three or better on the three chosen questions.