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Comprehensive Exams- Life Sciences

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Hi Everyone,

I'm going to be taking my comprehensive exams at the end of the summer in August. My program does a 3 day written exam and a 1 day oral exam. I plan to reach out to each of my committee members to ask about specific study areas, but does anyone have any recommendations/suggestions for how to organize studying/studying tips? Specifically, how did you review? Read textbooks/articles? Go through old class notes? Was it helpful to type up notes? How many hours a day did you dedicate for study?


Thanks in advance for your feedback!



Edited by MrT
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I'm also writing my exams around the same time (though a little later, end of September).  Mine is a two-day written exam (4 hours/1 question each day) and then an oral defence a week later.  But I have a list of five questions I need to prepare answers for, and won't know which two they will be asking me until I go in to write them.

My plan is to spend 3 weeks on each question (reading and writing), leaving me about a week at the end to review everything.  So for the last 3 weeks or so I've been treating it like a job; doing school work from 9-5 each day, with a couple of breaks and a lunch.  The good thing about that is I have my evenings and weekends free so I can clear my head a bit.

I also plan to each out to committee members to run things by them to make sure I'm on the right track with how I'm thinking about various questions.  Some supervisors will agree to read over drafts of your writing, others may prefer to video chat with you or meet with you to have more of a discussion.

I won't be going through any class notes (I don't think) because my comp exams involved working out a specific reading list, some books, some articles.

Hope some of this helps, and good luck!!

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