Comprehensive Exams

 

 

Purpose of the Comprehensive Exam: this exam provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to integrate information and produce a response commensurate with graduate level writing skills in the five core areas defined in the Educational Psychology graduate program. These areas are:

1. Statistics and Research Design

2. Assessment and Measurement

3. Developmental Theory

4. Ecological Considerations and Diversity

5. Counseling Theory and Practice

The comprehensive exam is a requirement for the M.Ed. degree.

Process of Comprehensive Exams:

1. You must have a designated committee. This requires filling forms and getting signatures. See Sherrill Christensen for the form and associated details.

Chair: ___________________________ Phone#: ______________ e-mail: _______________________

Committee Member: ________________Phone# _______________ e-mail: _______________________

Committee Member: ________________Phone# _______________ e-mail: _______________________

2. You must know the exam date. There are two identified dates each year. One in the fall and one in the spring. Check with your advisor. These aren't arbitrary dates. The Graduate School of the University of Utah requires that certain information and forms are turned in on definite days of the semester. This is particularly relevant to any activities related to graduation.

3. Students take Comprehensive Exams after completing the core course requirements. It doesn't do much good to take an exam on course content that you haven't had!

4. Meet with your committee chair 6-7 weeks before the exam date. Arrange for a day that you will pick up your comprehensive exam questions.

5. You should have 5-6 weeks to work on preparing to answer the exam questions.

6. On the identified date, you will be notified of the THREE questions that you will be required to submit as your answers. You have 72 hours to prepare the exam you will submit.

7. Exam details:

-Responses to each question should be 4-5 pages, typed and double spaced. Lengthier exams will not be read.

-Exams should use APA format with regard to headings, page numbering, references, and other details.

-Use 12 point Times New Roman or Courier type.

-1 inch margins

-References or citations should be included at the end of each question. These DO NOT count as part of the 4-5 page response.

8. Submit 3 copies of your completed exam 72 hours after you receive your questions. For example, if you get your questions at 9:00 on Friday morning then they are due at 9:00 on Monday morning.

9. Scoring. Each exam question receives a numerical score (0-5). You must have an average of 3 (based on each reader's scores on each question) to pass the exam. If you don't pass a question then you will be asked to either resubmit of complete another question.

AN EXAMPLE OF SCORING:

 

Question 1

 

Question 2

 

Question 3

 

Question 4

 

Reader 1

 

4

 

3

 

3

 

Yes

 

Reader 2

 

3

 

5

 

2

 

Yes

 

Reader 3

 

3

 

2

 

2

 

No

 

 

AN EXAMPLE COMPREHENSIVE EXAM QUESTION:

Development Question:

Jane Callahan is the lead counselor at DeBois Middle School. This 6-8th grade setting is located in a large urban school district. During her seven years at the school Jane has worked with students from many different backgrounds and many types of problems. She's seen bright students succumb to their risk factors in the environment and she's seen students overcome difficult obstacles and succeed in life. One fall afternoon, Even Hirsh, a high school counselor Jane has worked with for several years, stops by her office. "Jane, you know I've been working to set up groups for kids at my school who have completed drug rehabilitation programs and are reentering school. They're good kids and need some activities that will help them learn different patterns of behavior related to school. I'd really like some of them to work as tutors for students at DeBois. They could walk over during the day and work one-on-one with students who could use some extra help. What do you think of my idea?" Based on your knowledge of child and adolescent social and emotional development describe the advantages and disadvantages which might exist for middle school students who are exposed to older adolescents who have been substance abusers. What research exists? What advantages or disadvantages are there for the older adolescents? Cite relevant research that might support your position. Finish your response to these questions by assuming that Jane Callahan shares your views of development. State your position as to why she would be likely to accept or reject Evan Hirsh's proposal.