For those of you who are unfamiliar with the history PhD comprehensive exam, it is basically three essays on different topics – like women and medicine in early modern Italy – and you use basically every book you have read on the topic while in grad school to answer the question. They can be content based questions about a specific historical event, time, or movement, or more likely, a historiographical question. It’s definitely comprehensive!
Have you all noticed a theme lately in my Instagram posts? Yep, my desk. Because for the past couple weeks it has been the center of my universe. I am sure you are tired of hearing about my comps prep, well let me tell you, I am tired of prepping!
This week has been particularly difficult, as I am losing my study stamina! But I just need to power through the weekend and then Monday the real torture begins. I feel mentally ready, I am just not sure if I have the patience to write three essays for six hours (each) over the course of three days. But I guess there is only one way to find out!
My overall approach for studying for this exam was to create notecards for every book/article on my reading list. This was a great idea until about half way through, then it became super tedious. Fortunately, I had budgeted enough time for burnout and after a couple days of procrastinating I was back on the notecard horse. Once I completed the cards, I began organizing them by date (of publication) and theme, this was really helpful for my final phase – creating outlines based on my exam topics (I won’t know the actual questions until the day of the exam).
So now that I have all of my cards created, organized, and outlined, this weekend is all about review, review, review! The weather this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous, so I think I will grab a blanket and my notecards and review outside!
This last picture represents the massive drink I am going to have once this is finally over!
What are you up to this weekend?