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magnetite

Normal to need to review undergrad course material?

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I've been out of college and working in an unrelated field for three years. My knowledge of most of my undergrad material is a bit hazy at this point.

Is it usual for students entering a graduate program to need to go back and review undergrad material, whether or not there's been an extended period of time between graduating and starting grad school?

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15 minutes ago, magnetite said:

I've been out of college and working in an unrelated field for three years. My knowledge of most of my undergrad material is a bit hazy at this point.

Is it usual for students entering a graduate program to need to go back and review undergrad material, whether or not there's been an extended period of time between graduating and starting grad school?

If the UG materials are good and relevant to one's field of study, a review could be profitable. 

IMO, what other students do or don't do is less important than what works for an individual student.

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Hi!  We have an entrance exam where it is expected we know and pass tests that were at the undergraduate coursework level.  If we get below a certain percentage they will make us take their university's equivalent of the UG course again.  Regardless, in my field (STEM), the grad courses build upon the undergrad so I'll definitely be reviewing certain course materials before I head into the fall to stay afloat.

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I think this is going to vary for everyone.  I took a number of years off between undergrad and grad school and while I was a good student in undergrad I still felt I needed a review of statistics and some core content.  It wasn't something I spent months on, just did a crash course consisting of skimming my undergrad textbooks (yes I kept mine lol).  I felt it helped when I enrolled in classes and wasn't struggling to remember basic concepts.

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You should look into the graduate courses first and see who they're designed for. For example, an umbrella biosciences program usually require the same "intro"/"fundamentals" courses for first years that are meant to bring everyone (with different undergrad majors) up to the same level in terms of genetics, mol/cell bio, dev bio etc. These usually will not require extensive knowledge in each subject. But if your program is just for a specific subfield, then it's likely you'll have to review somewhat in order not to fall behind.

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As someone who entered a PhD program immediately after finishing my BS, I still take the time to review my undergraduate material on a regular basis. This is especially true when I read through papers that are not in my specific sub-field. I also know several other graduate students from various backgrounds who review their undergraduate textbooks when studying for comprehensive exams or when beginning a new project proposal. 

It's about doing a good job using the resources you have available, not about who remembers the most from their coursework. If you need to review, that's fine.

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