TMP Posted September 14, 2015 Share Posted September 14, 2015 I don't know if anyone has gone through this particular situation but I'll feel out. I suffer from severe depression and anxiety; I'm doing really well now with the meds and a great team of professionals. Ideas and advice will be appreciated.The story: I barely passed my written exam. Part of it was due to the wording of the questions not being very clear how the essays were to be written/structured. The other part was making a lot of mistakes (overconfidence took over my mind). My committee let me take the oral exam with the assumption that I would know how to fix my mistakes during the conversation. I ended up failing my oral exam with an opportunity for a re-take.I spent the entire summer studying again. My committee wanted me to correct my mistakes, which I did and now have passed those corrections with flying colors. Now we are supposed to schedule an oral exam. I met with three of my committee members individually and the meetings went solid for most part and everyone feels comfortable moving me forward.Except for my meeting with my adviser. I literally had a stress breakdown as she "examined" me. My adviser got really worried and wondered if the oral exam format is really right for me even though the Graduate School has in its policy that second exams must be oral exams and observed by an outside representative of the Graduate faculty. I was going to fill out the form to take my exam that afternoon but... I decided not to.The stakes are pretty high because A) my committee claims that they're looking for my knowledge of A and B but it's like dealing with a four-headed dragon, not one because each had a specific strategy for handling their questions. What I can say to Committee Member 1 will not fly with Committee Member 3 while Committee Member 2 is listening for something specific that Committee Member 1 doesn't care for; and B ) I have a real performance anxiety. A lot of times I deal with it because I know I can always do X again or have a semi-script in hand. This time, this is it. If I fail, I'm done and out. My adviser's biggest concern at the moment is the perception of the outside representative appointed by the Graduate School to oversee the exam of me, especially if I had a random nervous breakdown.My confidence is now in the hole after working so hard all summer to build it back up. This whole thing is rough on me because it's literally my only hurdle in this entire PhD program. I have the dissertation prospectus approved, finished all of my coursework, and have gotten a good check of dissertation research done. The committee know it and really want to pass me so we all can move on with our lives. My adviser wants look into petitioning the Graduate School for an alternative route to this kind of exam format though I'm not sure what exactly.Anyone experienced anything like this-- with a difficult committee and/or serious performance anxiety for the oral exam? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now