Comprehensive Area Exams

Overview

Examination committee responsibilities and expectations

Oral Exam Procedures

Timeline

Overview

Please consult the information in the area exams section of the PhD programs portion of our website.

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Examination committee responsibilities and expectations

Prior to the exam:

  • The reading lists are renewed regularly, and the exam format is occasionally updated, but neither can change later than six months of any writing.
  • The examination committee chair should meet with the candidates a minimum of four months prior to the exam in order to:
    • discuss exam format, regulations, and expectations;
    • ensure that the candidates have access to the most recent reading list and exam;
    • advise the candidates on study-strategies, exam-taking strategies, etc;
    • work with the candidates to develop a secondary reading list or “B” list;
    • if applicable, consult with the candidates to establish object texts (though the specific texts need not be finalized until two weeks before the exam).
  • "B" lists should be finalized a minimum of two months prior to the exam.
  • The exam draft must be submitted to the graduate coordinator at least one month prior to the exam, with "B" lists and object texts, where relevant.
  • The examination committee chair, with feedback from the graduate studies committee, ensures that the exam questions, format and "B" list meet exam regulations.
  • Where relevant, object texts are delivered to the candidates two weeks prior to the exam.

The day after the exam, the graduate coordinator will send the completed exams to the examination committee members.

After the exam:

  • When evaluating the exams, members should be taking notes.  They will be required to provide feedback to the candidates. This is especially important for primary exams, since the feedback will help students to prepare for the oral exam.
  • All members of the examination committee must agree to a grade and comments before the exam chair/supervisor/designate completes the grades and feedback webform.
  • Grades and feedback must be submitted after receiving the exam.

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Oral Exam Procedures

TBA

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Secondary Exam Timeline

Timeframe Event

Responsibility

Six months before Exam registration Candidate
Six months before Examination date confirmed Graduate coordinator
Five months before Graduate officer asks two members of the area standing committees to work with the dissertation supervisor. Graduate Officer, standing committees
Four months before Candidate meets with the examining committee and supervisor Candidate, supervisor and examination committee chair
Two months before "B" lists submitted to Graduate Coordinator. Candidate and examination committee chair
One month before Exam draft sent to Graduate Coordinator (with object texts, if they are part of the exam). Examination committee, Graduate Coordinator
One month before Exam drafts reviewed for approval by the graduate studies committee Graduate studies committee, Graduate Coordinator
Two weeks before Object texts delivered to candidates Graduate coordinator and examination committee chair
One week after Grades and comments are submitted to the graduate coordinator Examination committee

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