I am a bad exam taker; I have had times when I have left exams without writing a single word on the paper because I couldn’t BS my way through it. I have always been in awe of people who are able to do exams and score well. I don’t know what my problem is but it surely is a problem. I have been struggling with a preliminary exam for some time. This December the window into that exam will close also and might never open again. If I fail that exam then I am done with the PhD or lets say that the school is done with me (I wouldn’t give up that quickly).
I remember the days during FSc exams in Pakistan, people would spend less time and effort but master the technique of copy paste onto the paper materials from the book, and on the other hand I would make sincere efforts to understand the materials. The outcome was that I couldn’t get admission into any university. Well by gone be bygones and I am not worried about it anymore but this PhD exam is killing me, the fear of failing it and losing that opportunity at the PhD has kept me awake at nights and even made me fear the exam so much that I don’t want to take it anymore. I know I have to but in the back of my mind I know that I will fail it.
I don’t consider myself a loser or bad at learning, in fact I absorb a lot of information every day, reading/watching and exploring everything from everyday life to internet. I would even consider myself more informed than an average person and even quite a few PhD’s I know or knew. Maybe the problem is that I love to learn everything and can’t just give them up to focus on one thing. Take today for an example, from reading about the Boston mob boss who got arrested last week to mayhem in Libya, Sony cancelling start wars galaxy to some physicist make a glorified jack hammer to create fusion for greener times and so on. I even sometimes make the effort to go on Wikipedia and read and learn about things that I might have read as part of something else. But I guess these are all the tasks of normal people and not the super smarts that do PhDs. If that is the case then I can’t help it. I am fine with a masters but if it not then I should find a way to pass this Damm exam.
I guess while I am on the page of ranting or complaining let me ask this question
“Why everyone talks about the over achievers, why no one talks about the rest of the people like anyone who is not a Ivy league graduate, born to the rich parents, spoon fed their careers and jobs …”
What about the rest of us who are trying and living everyday? I guess we will never know 🙂 Well as far as the exam is concerned Inshallah I will take my best shot at it and if I don’t pass it then it is the loss for the PhD program 🙂
Will write about it after I am done in December with the exam.