Yesterday, I took the first part of my comprehensive exams. After reading and studying since February, it is a relief to have this part of my graduate program underway. Now, I just have to make it through parts 2 and 3 on Wednesday and Friday.
I felt pretty good about the questions I got yesterday. I had to answer three out of five, and fortunately, three were ones that I had approximately prepared for. I felt good about the questions while I was answering them - of course, afterward there is the temptation to second-guess - mostly worrying about whether I wrote enough. However, I am trying to minimize that impulse.
Favorite things from comps: Middlemarch by George Eliot and the poems by Gerald Manley Hopkins
Least favorite: Lukacs (did I even spell that right? anyway, he is incomprehensible)
Best strategy advice: start early, make a calendar, read a little bit each day, take notes immediately; also, having the notes of someone who had a similar list is great
Mistakes: taking notes in the book without transfering them to the notebook - you won't remember what the poem is about
Extra advice: don't labor over a text that is just too difficult or boring - you're eating into your time - read enough so that you have an idea of the content and style, then find a summary or someone's notes on it - chances are, you are not going to be asked about that specific text anyway