• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

John Felde | University of Maryland | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Exams

I recently passed the last last exam of my life (unless something unexpected happens), and it got me thinking about all of the exams I have had to take over my lifetime.

The first exam I have a memory from is a spelling test in the first grade.  In fact, I don’t so much remember a particular test, but I remember that I did well on one and my teacher invited me and the other top scorers to have lunch with her at the big table. This was much more exciting for a first grader that it would be now, and trust me it did not happen to me very often.  Since then the number of exams I have had to take is probably easily over a thousand, an idea which is a bit mind boggling.

Another funny thing about exams is that they seem to keep getting more important.  The first important exam for most people is probably the SAT which has some leverage in getting accepted to a college, and the in college you have Midterms and Finals to worry about.  If you are like me and want to get a Ph.D. you then have to go take two GRE exams, one general, and one in your field.  Once in graduate school the Midterms and Finals get even harder, and then you are typically asked to pass a written exam in your field.  This is usually do or die, except that most schools give the students a couple of tries to pass.  It took me two tries to pass that test in my department.

Finally we come to the last test which for us is an oral exam where you stand in front of a committee of five faculty and present to them your research topic while they grill you in an attempt to flush out any and all misunderstandings.  Thankfully I passed this test, and have now advanced to candidacy, a distinction which has no real affect on my day to day life, but is important for the university.

Now it is time for a little rest and relaxation to recover from all of these exams.

Share