Sponsored Ad:
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Why do students fail the Generals

  1. #1
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage asianeconomist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    1,269
    Rep Power
    18


    Good post? Yes | No

    Why do students fail the Generals

    Sponsored Ad:
    I observed something similar being discussed in another thread and thought that it would be interesting & useful for newbies to learn about the common instigators of failure. Verily, He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth - Johann Wolfgang Goethe

    I do realize that people might not be willing to discuss their inadequacies in such a public setting, but given the relative benefit to the recipients, I still believe that it is worth a shot.

    My take on the matter is that, students who usually fail to pass the comps are often not motivated enough. Probably, they had entered the PhD without truly realizing the rigor and commitment required of them. Therefore, once they encounter the demands of the program, their relative lack of motivation does not enforce them to work hard enough.

    I only hypothesize, hence don't criticize .

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    769
    Rep Power
    17


    Good post? Yes | No
    I have a friend in Stanford math who's failing out. I know it's not the same program but his reasons are probably comparable to some who fail out in econ. In his case it is that his undergrad wasn't very rigorous (wow, you can tell that I'm studying metrics -- I wanted to say "robust"), plus that he lacks a bit in ability compared to the other students. Plus that he says the other students are competitive to the point of being nasty.

    Going by other people rather than just him, I would add to the list that you have to be able to deal with having something confuse you. A lot of people have never encountered anything they found hard before, and some people know how to deal with it and some don't. (Don't: avoid it, freak out over it, or think you're incompetent. Do: realize everyone has something they don't get, that the things people don't get will be different, and ask someone to explain it. It's *especially* important not to think you're incompetent, because I've observed one person acting that way and if you think you'll do worse you really will. (This is also independently confirmed in all sorts of experiments, that confidence has a role.) Plus people will start to actually think you're bad if you act like you're bad.)

  3. #3
    I don't really post here
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    37
    Rep Power
    11


    Good post? Yes | No
    If I am not mistaken, more than half of first-year graduate students last year failed their comps (on their first try) at my undergraduate school (top 20)! I think it has more to do with the fact that the comps are very, very difficult rather than any lack of preparation. There were a couple applied math. doctoral students in my graduate micro. course who were getting strictly average scores.

  4. #4
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,176
    Rep Power
    18


    Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by asianeconomist View Post
    My take on the matter is that, students who usually fail to pass the comps are often not motivated enough. Probably, they had entered the PhD without truly realizing the rigor and commitment required of them. Therefore, once they encounter the demands of the program, their relative lack of motivation does not enforce them to work hard enough.
    So I'd qualify this by saying -- people I know who failed comps have generally been highly motivated. Some of them just didn't have a sufficiently rigorous math background coming into the program, and just never were able to overcome that despite all their efforts. In some cases, people have been away from school too long, in other cases, maybe people didn't have quite enough maturity coming out of undergrad, and probably another year or two off would have been good for them, and maybe this is closer to your hypothesis. Though when I say maturity, I more say managing time well, and balancing all the relevant commitments in life, though maybe some would describe that as "lacking motivation." I surely never doubted the good intentions of people who haven't passed, and I would definitely not describe any of them as lazy or lacking in motivation.

  5. #5
    TestMagic Outlier buckykatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    US
    Posts
    1,190
    Rep Power
    17


    Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Karina 07 View Post
    Going by other people rather than just him, I would add to the list that you have to be able to deal with having something confuse you. A lot of people have never encountered anything they found hard before, and some people know how to deal with it and some don't.
    I think the above is probably true for many. Although I didn't fail my comps, it was certainly true that I cruised through my undergrad years without really having to learn how to study, and that learning good study habits was a challenge when I got to grad school. (Honestly, it's something I'm still working on. I mean, here I am taking a break from analysis to post to TM...)
    Attending: UConn

  6. #6
    MPhil Hell!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    91
    Rep Power
    11


    Good post? Yes | No
    Okay, coming from a system that doesn't do comps. What happens when you fail them? Do you get the option to resit them or what's the procedure?

  7. #7
    TestMagic Outlier buckykatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    US
    Posts
    1,190
    Rep Power
    17


    Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Connemara Pony View Post
    Okay, coming from a system that doesn't do comps. What happens when you fail them? Do you get the option to resit them or what's the procedure?
    Exact policies vary, but I think every program gives you at least one chance to retake them.
    Attending: UConn

  8. #8
    Click My Avatar! YoungEconomist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,025
    Rep Power
    21


    Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Karina 07 View Post
    you have to be able to deal with having something confuse you. A lot of people have never encountered anything they found hard before, and some people know how to deal with it and some don't.
    Lucky for me I find myself confused all the time.

    In many classes, I find that I am often very confused when we first start studying the material, but then after studying it for awhile things begin to make sense. Over the past year, I've often felt this way in Game Theory, Econometrics, Advanced Micro, Calc 1, and Calc 2.

  9. #9
    Requiem for a Dream Olm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    867
    Rep Power
    15


    Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Karina 07 View Post
    (Don't: avoid it, freak out over it, or think you're incompetent. Do: realize everyone has something they don't get, that the things people don't get will be different, and ask someone to explain it. It's *especially* important not to think you're incompetent, because I've observed one person acting that way and if you think you'll do worse you really will. (This is also independently confirmed in all sorts of experiments, that confidence has a role.) Plus people will start to actually think you're bad if you act like you're bad.)
    Aren't you glad Berkeley doesn't have comps?

    In many classes, I find that I am often very confused when we first start studying the material
    When you have a bad prof, this is inevitable; when you have a good one, he can present the most difficult and arcane subjects as manageable.

  10. #10
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    769
    Rep Power
    17


    Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Olm View Post
    Aren't you glad Berkeley doesn't have comps?
    This is totally unrelated, but you know how I'm taking a math course on the side? There's a person in that class who is so obnoxious. Every time we bump into each other it's always "Oh my gosh, don't you find that course soooooo hard?" Er, I don't, so what am I supposed to say, "No?" And then they go on about how they are always just trying to write down every word the prof says, to pore over it later. Or people who are like "you don't understand this either, right? When so-and-so asked a question, I was so scared, because clearly she knew the material well, but you're lost, too, right?" Personally, I find this really annoying, because it's asked in such a way you can't help but either be a jerk or lie. So uncomfortable. So, yea, don't put your classmates in a situation like that :P. But maybe it's just me who's bugged by that. Then again, it's different when most of the class is suffering, and then it's a communal joke.

    Okay, I'll stop rambling and get back to studying....

    P.S. On the other hand, people who are holier-than-thou are annoying, too....

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Where to do if fail quals?
    By econ12 in forum PhD in Economics
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-25-2008, 06:57 PM
  2. what if we fail three times
    By jsps in forum FPGEE
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-09-2008, 08:19 PM
  3. What do people who fail out do?
    By econguy4 in forum PhD in Economics
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-09-2007, 03:41 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-21-2007, 11:35 PM
  5. fail/fails
    By playitcool in forum GMAT Sentence Correction
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-09-2007, 05:27 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •