It is true. Passing the qualifying exam is no easy feat. The process of studying for the exam is more daunting and challenging than the two hours spent taking the exam itself. So, how do you reduce stress and maximize your studying potential while preparing for the Quals?
I have 10 suggestions based on MY personal experience to share with you.
1. Start thinking early
2. Select your committee members (more info? click here)
3. Have a "pre-exam meeting" with your committee members (more info? click here)
4. Read foundational materials in your field
5. Build your study around your thesis (if your exam is thesis-focused)
6. Read articles, then, read them again
7. Prepare an outline for the written AND oral exam
8. Practice, practice practice
9. Give yourself a break every now and then
10. Take your exam
Breathe deeply, introduce yourself and start. It helps if you include a biography slide because spending the first minute or so giving them your academic background makes it easier to transition into your presentation.