This is when you get together with senior grad students and researchers and practice what's going to happen at your oral exam - aka orals aka quals aka the most stressful rite of passage for a PhD student. 😱 You give presentation 1 and then get asked questions. Then you give presentation 2, and more questions. It's THREE. HOURS. LONG. 😭😩💀
  1. My feelings are mixed.
  2. A. I feel like I got hit by a truck. 🚚
    B. I feel strangely ok. If that's how bad the real thing is, it's bad but I can deal with it.
  3. A. I got asked questions about subject matter I was so ignorant about, I didn't even understand what was being asked or some of the words used. 😑
    B. Some of the questions I knew exactly what to say and even could tie back to active research/avenues already under investigation.
  4. A. I feel like everyone in that room today (friends and colleagues) is disappointed in me and doesn't think I'm in good shape for my exam. 💩
    B. That's just impostor syndrome/normal for having just been asked a bunch of questions and had your presentation(s) torn apart.
  5. A. Would've been helpful to get these presentation critiques at the last mocks that were held SPECIFICALLY for the presentation content. You know, 2 weeks ago instead of now when I'm trying to finish the written section of my exam and study and also finish collecting data. 😩
    B. But the suggestions were all really helpful and my presentations will be much stronger if I can figure out how to make the changes (requires a lot more work to gather the appropriate information).
  6. A. I feel totally unprepared and am sure I am going to fail or at best get a deferred decision and have to retake the exam and go through this all over again next semester. 💣
    B. I will probably be ok; I will be ok.