This article presents, firstly, a short review of methods for evaluating kinetic parameters of solid state reactions and a critical analysis of the isoconversional principle of model free methods. It shows theoretically that the activation energy for complex reactions is not only a function of the reaction degree but also of heating programs, and points out that any method that attempts to extract the dependences of activation energy on conversion degree without considering the dependences of heating programs is problematic. Then an analysis is given of the invariant kinetic parameters (IKP) method and recommends an incremental version of it. Based on the incremental IKP method and model free method, a comprehensive method is proposed that predicts the degree of the dependences of activation energy on heating programs, selects reliable values of activation energy and extracts the values of variable pre-exponential factor. This comprehensive method is tested using both simulation data and experimental data, the results of which show it can not only give reliable values of kinetic parameters but also be helpful in explaining inconsistencies of kinetic results in solid state reactions. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.