About 60 Howard University students staged a peaceful four-hour sit-in yesterday outside the university president's office to protest administration plans to give comprehensive examination to seniors.

Howard president James Cheek, finally met with the students about 5:15 p.m. for 30 minutes after they agreed not to ask questions about the proposed tests.

Cheek said he could not dismiss this issue since a suit is pending in D.C. Superior Court in which several students have asked for an injunction to stop the university from giving the tests Dec. 7.

The students contended yesterday and in their suit that the examinations were illegal because they were not listed as a requirement for graduation when the students enrolled at Howard.

Before the sit-in the students held a noontime demonstration on campus, where they burned an effigy of Robert Owens, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, who first recommended that the examinations be given. Only liberal arts students would be required to take the tests in their major fields of study.

Kali Hill, president of the Howard University Student Association, one of four students who filed the suit said the examination would be boycotted if the court injunction is not granted.

During the 30-minute meeting with Cheek, several students complained that he is seldom seen on campus, that students feel alienated from the administration, and that there is a need for better communication between students and officials.

Cheek, who denied existence of a policy of inaccessibility, agreed to hold monthly forums at which grievances could be aired.