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Qualifier second time

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Hello all,

I'm in my third year of PhD program and completed my coursework last semester. Our qualifier has two parts, written from individual committee member followed by oral in front of all committee.

At December'16, I was told by committee that I need to work more on written part and then could give oral exam. Out of five, three have assignment as lit. reviews, one wants me to write a grant proposal and other one has open book, question and answer test.

Two weeks ago, I submitted my question and answer test (second time) to respective member. Last week, he gave corrected test back to my major advisor. My major advisor told me, he's not happy with my answers and going to fail me. I scored 49% on that test. I was not even aware that he's going to grade this test and how much was grading for each question and what was passing cut off. He did not grade my first test. When I meet him after first test, we went through some question but he didn't tell me anything about grading. When I asked my major advisor, can I contact that member and ask for third test, I was told I don't have time for the same and should work on remaining member's test. My major advisor told me, qualifier does not has to be unanimous decision, and now I have to work on remaining four members' written part very well and my window is getting narrow. I'm planning to complete my written of next 4 members in next 2 months and give oral in month of May.

I was completely freaking out and could not breath well. Now calming my nerves and trying figure out next best steps for me. Have I lost my position in program already? Could any one tell me how could I cope with this situation and pull this off?



Edited by samstrong123
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16 minutes ago, samstrong123 said:

Could any one tell me how could I cope with this situation and pull this off?

I really wish things were that easy. Unfortunately, exams are very discipline- and department-specific. At this point you should focus on passing the remaining four fields. As you prepare, do talk to your committee (if permitted) in order to better understand what's their aim for you in these exams. In general, comps have to do with the ability to produce something intellectually coherent, to show expertise, and to show dialogue with the discipline. Yet, this can vary significantly among departments and even among faculty. Right now, you need as much information about the exams as you can gather.

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I'm sorry, this is a tough situation. Unfortunately, all you can do is follow your advisor's instructions and focus on the other parts. Be honest though, did you think that since it wouldn't be graded, then you don't have to try as hard? Did you do anything different this time around since your first attempt wasn't considered adequate? Maybe your advisor was trying to be helpful by not grading the first attempt and instead focusing on what you needed to improve upon.

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Thanks AP and Need coffee in an iv for yr input.

Yes AP, Im gathering as much info as I could about exam from respective members and act accordingly.

Need coffee in an iv_as 1 st one was not graded and when I was given second test it did not say about grading scale, cut off so I assumed its not going to be graded. After getting back first test I meet with that member and we went through some of the questions. I understood them and when similar questions got in the second test, I got them correct.

Yes when I was told I did not do good on first test, before giving second test, I worked on it harder and put more time into it.

After getting the second test back, I emailed that committee member and told him I am working on his remarks on second test, and seeing how could I have done better. Then he replied that if I need any clarification then I should try my major advisor. My major advisor told me I should nto worry about that member and work on other committee members' assignments.



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