Hello readers, my apologies for my absence. I have not been posting much recently, but I have a fair excuse. Over the last month or so I have focused the vast majority of my academic energies on preparing for my first comprehensive exam of the year: 9:30 am on Monday.
For those of you unfamiliar with academia, the comprehensive exam, also known as a prelim or qualifier, is essentially the biggest, scariest, longest test you can possibly imagine. In a seven hour sitting, we are asked three questions related to our major field of study and expected to produce well-constructed, organized, critical answers that demonstrate our grasp of the discipline.
If you pass, you get to continue on to work on your thesis. If you fail, you have an opportunity to retake the exam at a later date or you are asked to leave the program. There is a lot riding on this test. While I feel relatively prepared, the urge to continue cramming is fairly irresistible.
After completing my major exam in International Relations, I will have a month-and-a-half “break” before taking my minor exam in Comparative Politics. Needless to say, posting on this site will likely be quite sparse until I have completed this trial by fire. Wish me luck!