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Taking the Prelim when you show up
Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:17 PM
This is really a non-quandry because I think I will give it a shot, but I wonder whether it would be worth it to take first-year courses with the rest of my peers and really nail down the material once-and-for-all (i.e. take my time instead of rushing). On the flip-side, part of me thinks that taking the same courses over again (albeit from a different institution) is a rather daunting proposition.
Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:48 PM
Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:33 PM
How long has the break been between MA and entering PhD?
It's been 2 years since I graduated (spring 2010) and 4 years since my first-year courses (fall 2008). It's been a little while, which makes me feel like the courses would be helpful. Additionally, different universities/profs cover material differently so there is potential to gain important new perspectives. But my stomach sinks a little imagining sitting in a class similar to one that I took 4 years ago.
The tuition is waived and I have a stipend, so money is not a concern.
Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:47 PM
However, this will have been like no-gap for me; only you know how confident you are with that 4-year gap (but I mean is it really "4-years" if you've been engaged with the material since then).
Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:56 PM
I would go through the first year of classes before taking the exams for two reasons. First, as ANDS! points out, the course work can serve as a refresher.
Second, the year would give a student time to figure out the dynamics of the program and the personalities of the Powers That Be--(especially one's POI). While there may be an opportunity to take the exams right away, doing so might push buttons one could just as easily avoid. (For example, members of your department may want you to jump through some hoops to see how well you can jump through hoops.)
Also, and I don't mean to sound like a downer, one might think through carefully the consequences of declining to do the first year of study before taking the exam, and then not passing.
In the effort to create an “instant history” with which we could live and prosper, our early historians intentionally placed our early national heroes and leaders beyond the pale of criticism. . . . And this distorted image of them has not only created a gross historical fallacy, but it has also rendered it utterly impossible to deal with our past in terms of the realities that existed at that time. To put it another way, our romanticizing about the history of the late eighteenth century has prevented our recognizing the fact that the founding fathers made serious mistakes that have greatly affected the course of our national history from that time to the present.
John Hope Franklin, ISBN-0807115479, p. 154.
Taking critics seriously, and responding to them thoughtfully, is a sign of respect.
William G. Bowen, ISBN-9780691149622, p. 53.
Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:30 PM
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