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Comp Exam is passed... or past?

Over the last month or so I have focused the vast majority of my academic energies on preparing for my comprehensive exam.

For those of you unfamiliar with academia, the comprehensive exam, also known as a prelim or qualifier, is essentially the biggest, scariest, longest test you can possibly imagine while you are in Graduate school. In a twelve hour sitting, we are asked 5-6 questions related to our major field of study and expected to produce well-constructed, organized, critical answers that demonstrate our grasp of the discipline.

If you pass, you get to continue on to work on your thesis. If you fail, you have an opportunity to retake the exam at a later date or you are asked to leave the Statistics program. There is a lot riding on this test. While some of my colleagues were relatively prepared, the urge to continue cramming was fairly irresistible.

The Graduate Coordinator was kind enough to spend an hour with us three times while we prepared for the exam in the past few weeks. The coordinator told us that we all should have a feeling of whether we passed or not. But all of us walked out of the exam on Thursday and Friday devastated. I sure messed up on many questions.

But what's over is over. Thank goodness I won't have to do it again. Graduate faculties said they take into account how active we were in the Graduate Seminars and how much they like us on the personal level. I think I'm likeable person. I'll be alright.

It's passed... and it's a past.


Chelle said...

Hey Tomo,

I am sure you did just fine on the Comps. When I took the exam last year we all felt like we failed when we walked out of the exam. Some of the questions they asked are pretty tough. I am sure you will do fine and just think you can relax for the next couple of weeks until you find out :). Good Luck with everything and I am sure you did better then you thought.


Katsu said...

Don`t worry about it man...the point of comp is specifically meant to do what it did to you and everyone else...make you feel devastated. You aren`t supposed to be able to answer everything because it`s not meant to test how well you can answer questions. It`s meant to test push your limit and measure where your limits are, and determine how you react when you reach the limit. Noone leaves their comp/prelim/quals leaving like they answered everything right.

Mine was 9 hr written and 3 hr oral, closed book but I was supposed to cite everything I say (authors and year). I did best I could, and I did really good but they still cornered me to the area where I didn`t have a good answer...that`s the whole point. They wanted to crack the nut and see how I reacted...which I did okay with apparently because I passed. Hopefully you did, too. and by the way why did you take this exam?

tfunai said...

Otsukare sama!
Funai papa

Tomo and Masami said...

> Michelle
Thanks Michelle. Yeah my wife and I are trying to relax and go easy for few days... by the way, we got your announcement! Both sides, heh? Both of you looked so happy together! Congratulations!

> Katsu
Yeah... I remember when you were studying for it couple of years ago. I remember tha I really was glad that I wasnt in your place... but hey... lol.

> tfunai
Thanks Dad...