Wednesday, 21 February 2018

How to Become a Doctor of Philosophy: 4 Tips for Preparing for Written Admission Test






Most universities have a written admission test prior to the interview (oral admission test) for PhD.


However, in some cases if you have an MPhil degree then you are excused from the written test.


But, this is not the case for all universities and despite M.A. and Mphil, written test becomes mandatory.


Anyhow, for those who are going to appear for it, read the following

4 Tips for Preparing for Written Admission Test:

  1. Brush up the Basics - retrieve or borrow the graduation level books and notes, and begin reading them. A lot of times the focus is so much on the current affairs and in-depth analysis of a topic that we lose sight of the basics like how many stars are in the EU symbol or what colors are in the ASEAN flag? Brushing the basics will also help in understanding the concepts taught in later stages better.
  2. Thorough Reading - PhD written as well as oral exam, tests the overall knowledge about not just the topic suggested for thesis but the subject as a whole. For instance, if you are from an International Relations background, this subject is so vast that it covers political science; history and politics of the world, regions and states; geography; economy; sociology; and so on. Go through the M.A. and MPhil books and notes again, and refer to different journals and competitive examination books related to your subject.
  3. Objective Questions - preparation for objective questions requires one to make constant notes on names, dates, events, place, etc. After every few days, revise them as it is very easy to either forget or confuse. For example, Cuban Missile Crisis is in 1961 or 1962?
  4. Subjective Questions - this kind of paper is lengthy and very unpredictable in terms of estimating how much you will score before the results are out. Subjective paper means long answer questions. So, scoring in this kind of paper depends upon how well you understood the question asked and whether you have attempted answering all the parts of the question or not; how you framed the answer (introduction, body, conclusion); how you made and defended your argument; and whether you are factually correct or not when mentioning dates, names, place, quotes, etc. While, there is never a right or wrong answer in such question papers (What do you understand by Indian Federalism? can have varied answers) a lot of times the biases of the examiner or the paper checker reflects when giving marks. Therefore, avoid showing too strongly your own biases and opinions on a particular question. Frame a well-rounded answer that includes both for and against of the topic and then write why you support a particular view.
Keep these simple 4 tips in mind along with whatever life has taught you while giving written exams.


Excellence is going to be yours!

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