I recall from high school and undergrad days that the professors and teachers that assumed they were cool by calling exams “intellectual exercises” didn’t realize it wasn’t all that funny. Now that school has well been in full swing, the time came to take my first exam as graduate student.
I studied, re-read notes, homework assignments, the usual, all study habits I learned from undergraduate classes (unfortunately these “habits” didn’t pick up until late junior year and the GPA recovery window had all but closed). I think it’s fair to say that most students had a little apprehension over how the exam would be formatted, worded, what material would be tested, would it be tricky, etc…
From what I can say now that its all over is this: Unlike most undergrad exams, where it basically is an activity of vomiting all you studied the night before until the break of dawn, simply to memorize information, grad school tests thus far appear to be quite different. I didn’t experience the feeling of panic or the feeling that I would have to consider dropping out of school after the exam. From what I could gather, the professors for grad courses wish to drive home a series of points and facts that are not only most memorable but also applicable and necessary to succeed in a career in finance. The test was fair, yet I felt the items that were most subjectively important were there as well.
In all- I feel graduate level exams are beyond the days of grinding out a memorization scheme to get through exams- similar to many undergrad tests. Graduate school presents the opportunity to continuously learn, yet most importantly, apply the key concepts and information most prevalent to land success both academically and professionally. Hopefully going forward I can say the same for other exams. 🙂