serenade Posted September 6, 2017 Share Posted September 6, 2017 Hi everyone, I know I'm not the first to post about getting kicked out of grad school. I've read some of those threads. But since my situation was a bit different than the ones I found, I decided to start my own. But apologies if this is repetitive from older "getting kicked out" posts. Comps in my program are based on three written exams (three different examiners) and one oral one (all three examiners together). After taking the written ones, my three committee members advanced me to the oral stage. All three examiners failed me at the oral though (I got the sense they were evaluating me holistically and wanted to present a unified decision rather than "she passed my field"/"she didn't pass mine" etc). Going into the exams, I was under the impression that I had two chances. So I did my best on the first round (studying 18 hours a day leading up to exams), but in the back of my mind I always thought that if for some reason I did poorly, I could always use it as a learning experience to retake them in three months. I left the exam room that day after they told me the results bummed out, but under the impression that I would just work harder and learn how to improve to pass them the next time. When I met with my advisor two days later, however, I learned that we were not all on the same page. He told me the committee thinks I should leave the program. I asked him if retaking was a possibility and after talking through it a bit, he agreed, contingent upon the two other members saying yes. I spoke to one the next day who also agreed to let me retake. My advisor then sent me an email saying the committee decided that I need to talk to the third member, after which they will re-confer and my advisor will tell me a decision on whether I can retake them. So two out of three have said yes, but I also know that this third member can be pretty harsh and unforgiving. So I'm preparing myself for the worst. When I talked with both my advisor and second member, they each told me how my answers fell short and what was missing (in short, I was providing lots of information with little synthesis/analysis etc). When we had those conversations, it felt like a light bulb went off for me and I finally understood what I was doing wrong. And I also realized that it's something that I think I can improve in 3 months. With one of the examiners, we even hammered out a general approach to getting back on track. So my plan when talking to member # 3 is to tell him that I think I've identified my weaknesses, understand how to improve, and tell him that I'd like to talk about ways to make the most of the next three months of studying. I finally feel that I understand the expectations for the first time. Also, #3 was abroad all last year so we didn't have much contact, only two meetings of which were in person (one of which the week before exams days after he returned from abroad). #2 was also not on campus and had a personal health problem in his family, so contact was sparse there too. So I'm hoping to say that I'd like to try exams again now that #2's life is more stable and I can contact him more often, and #3 is back on campus. So anyway, a couple of more specific points 1) Any advice on what else to say to #3 to convince him that giving me a second chance isn't a waste of time? 2) Is it worth telling my advisor that although I did my best on exams the first time, I wasn't aware of the stakes and this whole issue of being kicked out has taken me by complete surprise? 3) I know it is a risk for any dept to re-admit a student once they've been kicked out and shown that they weren't able to handle the program. But does this ever happen? I've heard of people transferring to other programs. But if a student takes time off, shows that they've improved in the areas they were lacking, is it possible to convince an admissions committee in the same dept from which you were kicked out that you're worth the risk? I have no clue what I would do with the rest of my life if I'm kicked out, particularly so suddenly with little warning. I'm still in shock that all of this is happening. It's my worst nightmare coming to life. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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