Regardless of your university’s specific approach (we’re particularly familiar with Northcentral’s 4-question and Capella’s 3-question exam formats, among others), comps serve to evaluate your preparedness for doctoral research in two key areas: theoretical knowledge and practical expertise.
Theoretical knowledge should demonstrate your understanding of dominant theories and concepts in your field–whether that’s education, business, nursing, psychology, or another academic discipline altogether–as well as the most prevalent methodological quantitative and qualitative research approaches used to ask and answer questions in your area of interest.
Practical expertise, broadly defined, applies to your ability to identify a feasible research design to complete your proposed research. In this sense, “practical” applies not only to doctoral projects that emphasize planned interventions or final deliverables ready to distribute to practitioners but to a clear understanding of the logistics required to complete rigorous doctoral-level research.
In some cases, your university may ask you to focus on a broad overview of key research and methodology in your field, and in others, your comprehensive exams may serve a more focused purpose for you to begin to develop your doctoral research in some detail. Either way, comps should really be seen as a critical final stepping stone before the dissertation–and we’re here to provide initial dissertation assistance and editing services that meet your needs!
Our comprehensive exam assistance includes the following elements–and all of our dissertation consulting can be tailored to meet your specific goals now and throughout the process.