Taking the comps

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Revision as of 14:54, 3 August 2017 by Cameron (talk | contribs) (Pros)
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Should I take the comps in the Fall when I start?


  • If you can't convince the placement committee to place you out but you think you know the material well, you might be able to place out of one of the core courses by taking the comps. (Note however that the exams are much harder to pass at the Placement level than the PhD level, as you have to get 75% on all of the three questions rather than 50% on just two of them.)
  • It's nice to have some of the exams out of the way when you want to be focusing on classes or research, so you think you have a chance at passing it may be worthwhile to try


  • Studying for the comps can take a lot of time you might want to use for getting used to Stony Brook, meeting people, etc.
  • The exams are fairly long and kind of awkwardly timed, which might also interfere with getting adjusted to graduate life.

Signing up for the comps

Preparing for the comps

Main article: Comprehensive Exams