Certification Examination Blues!

| February 11, 2011

Certification exams are on February 25th this semester, and from the study room bookings you can see that there are many folk out there doing their preparation. These exams are a one of the hoops needed to be jumped as a doctoral student and for many it’s a cause for much anxiety.

Each of the departments have a different processes – in some programs like English Education and Anthropology of Education, students design their own questions and work with their academic advisers in determining the answers to the research they would like to do and investigate further. In other departments, students are expected to have a broader knowledge and are presented with a question in the exam room and are expected to tackle it – many times on a area that is not closely bound to their individual research topic.

Having some friends in different departments, I know that people feel strongly about the anxiety this examination causes.  Prof Peverly in the psychology dept puts past exams into the library’s archival site POCKETKOWLEDGE http://pocketknowledge.tc.columbia.edu/home.php/browse/5028

I think this is a wonderful way to help students prepare as they look through these past exams. I would like to be able to see this practice be the general way in which departments and professors give access to their students and aid preparation.  I feel it will help with the angst attached. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a common pool of resources?