Following are tips for the successful completion of comprehensive exams…
6 areas to blend and synthesize: philosophical and theoretical foundations; organization and control of info; analysis of user services; management; acquiring and accessing info; application of research methods. Buzzwords “theory”; “organization”; “users”; “management”; “access and acquire”; “research”
4 objectives for exam: organize and synthesize content from classes; test knowledge in specific subjects; ability to solve problems; establish and defend positions on current issues, trends and problems in our field.
Aids to writing: understanding of related literature, cite relevant authorities, theories, important literature or other supporting evidence
Read the question! Assumptions will kill you! First read through the selection of questions and reflect on the subjects, then select 3 questions. Briefly outline answers to all 3 questions. Plan your time. Reread the question and your answer to ensure clarity and completeness.
Structure of essays: 5 “sections”, including thesis statement and intro; 3 supporting areas with most important point listed first, followed by an elaboration or explanation of it; and concluding paragraph. Discuss whether the topic is a big deal that affects many or not so big with a limited affect. Could include a model, theory, chronology, categories, scale, i.e. whether big or not as noted above. Include info from different courses. Solve a problem by establishing and defending a position. Offer advantages and disadvantages.