Jump to content

General Examination Notes/Outlines


Recommended Posts

I know the answer to this question will be subjective, but I'm interested in getting some perspectives/insights on general examination notes/outlines. For those currently preparing to take their exams, or for those who have already been through the fire: any strategies, tips, thoughts related to your test preparation, particularly the design and scope of your notes and outlines that you feel are valuable to pass along?


I'm a prospective doctoral candidate in NT/EC, but feel like this question transcends discipline. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This mostly depends on your school, and their particular requirements.  I have noted a surprising variance on exams from school to school.  Some have 3, others have 4.  Some are very traditional, whereas others are a bit different.  I would say though, in terms of similarities for your field that a language component will obviously be important.  Now, again whether that is you sitting down with or without a dictionary and translating a passage that might be seen or unseen from a wide variety of Greek authors or only the NT can really vary.  Some places even do a in-person exam where you sit there with a professor and read a bunch of Greek perfectly.  You'll obviously also have to do some other lanaguges, but again, it depends on where and what you are pursuing for them.  My own will be Greek, Latin, Rabbinic Hebrew and Coptic, and they are more or less traditional exams selected from a corpus that my advisor and I decide on. 


In terms of stuyding, I suggest that you consider making a quick outline of whatever you read during your coursework, that way you can easily refer to it should you need to for an exam.  Your reading list will be ridiculous, between my EC/Late Antiquity Exam and my Theory exam, I have roughly a book to read every two days between now and next Spring.  However, I have read about half of them already and outlined them during coursework or my Master's, so as opposed to having to plow through Bagnall's Egypt in the Byzantine World in two days I can spend those two days reviewing my outline, and perhaps re-reading some particularly worthwhile or important portions.  Obviously everyone has their own way of doing things.  I more or less retain anything I read as long as I carefully read it once, but find that I need quick and easy 'tags' that bring the major argument to mind, otherwise I totally blank on things sometimes.  So, I have worked a lot on creating super concise tags for myself that will work just this way. 


The nice thing about BU is that they let you take your exams whenever you want (within reason), so I am splitting them up, doing one in May, one in August, and one in December.  We technically have 4, but the fourth is a paper that is meant to be either the first chapter/intro to your dissertation or a publishable article, which I have been working on all along, so that is more of an ongoing exam that I'll probably hand in during December at some point.


If you have specific questions, message me and I'll try to answer them the best I can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.