Posted by: unlikelygrad | April 5, 2012

oral exams tomorrow

More senior grad students have advised me to go back over the answers to my written exams to try to figure out what I’m going to be asked on my orals.  I have, but I don’t feel like it’s helping.

Don’t get me wrong.  I know which answers are weak and which are right on the money.  I just don’t know how to improve the weak stuff very well.  Gah.  So I should be studying now–less than 24 hours to go–but I just can’t.  I’m trying to get other work done instead and failing miserably.

Bah humbug.



  1. Best of luck… know you will do well !

  2. Hi,

    I hope your exams went well. I know several people who thought they did horribly on their quals, only to learn later from the profs that they had not only passed but done quite well. Also, I was surprised when one of my former colleagues (like you, I’m a middle-aged full-time PhD student now), whose intelligence and achievements nobody questions today, told me that he had failed his quals on his first attempt. So even if the worst happens, in the end it’s just an exam, not a statement about your abilities, and most institutions will give you a second bite at the apple. (But hopefully you won’t need it!)

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