How to Pass Comps

How to Pass Comps

May 26, 2023 2:56 PM

Worried about comps?

Comprehensive exams. Qualifying exams. General exams. Field exams. Whatever it's called at your university, it's the most important exam you'll ever take - your career is on the line. Failure isn't an option.

Prepare with a Proven System

How to Pass Comps provides you with proven strategies to pass comps. Everyone knows you can’t pull an all-nighter to study for comps, but too few know what it takes to prepare until it’s too late. In How to Pass Comps, Thrall relies on his 25 years of experience working with graduate students to walk you through everything you need to know:

  • The true purpose of comps
  • What professors are looking for in your comps exam essays
  • How to embrace a professional mindset
  • How to master the literature and hone your analytical thinking
  • How to take smart notes and create a Second Brain
  • How to set up an effective exam study plan
  • How to break down exam questions and write the best possible essays
  • How to bounce back and try again if you do fail the first time

This book will give you the blueprint for passing comps with flying colors.

Praise for How to Pass Comps

Treat graduate school like a job. Be strategic in your approach to coursework and in your studies. Understand what professors are looking for on comps and create a plan to deliver it. This little, but accessible and engaging book is full of timeless advice and practical strategies for Ph.D. students. Get a copy and put it to use! I wish I had had such a practical guide available to me during my graduate studies.

- Martin J. Herschock, Dean, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, University of Michigan-Dearborn

This is the kind of book I wish I had when I was studying (and stressing) over my comps. Taking smart notes is a skill that is almost never taught in undergraduate or graduate school but is absolutely necessary if one is to pass their comps and write a coherent dissertation. Dr. Thrall does an excellent job breaking down all the things one needs to do to get that PhD. I will be recommending this book to all of the students I meet!

- Sahar Khan, Ph.D., Managing Editor, Inkstick Media

Much of what someone needs to know to succeed as a PhD student is actually never taught in class. This concise book, framed around preparing for the major hurdle of comprehensive exams, clearly explains the habits and strategies of a successful graduate student. I will be recommending it to my students, and to my colleagues to recommend to their students.

- Brian Taylor, Professor of Political Science and Director, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Syracuse University