Cristina’s Qualifying Exams Results

     After taking my written exams for my Ph.D. in Communication from Regent University on January 29-30, I had three weeks to review my material and prepare for the oral defense on February 17th. Meanwhile, I was still busy adjusting to being a mom of two without having the help of my mother. 
    
I realize the big question on everyone’s minds is, “Did you pass?”
     I have to answer both “yes” and “no.”  Let me explain.
     When the day finally arrived for me to take the test, I was both tired and mentally exhausted.  But I thought I was prepared to answer the questions of my professors. 
    
The exam took place in the director’s office at the school, so that my professors at Regent University could take advantage of the Vonage phone number, which would ring as if we were located in New York and not cost them a huge international long distance fee. It was a conference call from 10am to 12 noon.  I sat on one end of the line while my four professors sat at the other end on a speaker phone. 
    
Regardless of the time I spent preparing, I immediately became nervous and my mind blanked out at the first question asked of me.  I spent the next two hours trembling through each question and the responses I was giving and feeling completely unnerved.
     At the end of the two hours, I was extremely drained and did not feel that I had done well at all.  The professors bid me farewell to discuss the results of my examination.
     My advisor called me back to give me both “good news and bad news.”  I had done well enough to pass five of the seven segments of the test.  Therefore, I was deemed competent in approximately 71% of my qualifying exams.  BUT…I did not meet their expectations in responding to questions on qualitative research methods or in advanced communication theory.  Therefore, I would be required to take those two portions of the qualifying exam over again in October of 2009 (when the next qualifying exams are made available).
     So, “yes,” I did pass a significant portion of my exams and will not have to retake those sections.  However, “no,” I did not pass the exams entirely.  My transcript for the spring semester will show that I have not passed my exams and that I will need to retake them before I can continue with the process of finishing my doctorate degree.
     However, my professor did tell me that I could begin doing the research needed to present the proposal for my dissertation in the fall semester.  And I would have the rest of the spring and summer semesters to work on that and to study for the two portions of the exam that I will need to retake in October.

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