This week I recently had to sit some external exams as part of a course provided for my PhD training. Unfortunately one of the two exams was almost impossible for me to answer and I’m sad to admit that I submitted it knowing that I wasn’t able to fully answer everything in the sense that I attempted every question but know it’s far from a pass.

It got me down and still does but I’m taking solace in the fact that it’s my first year of a PhD and it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’m confident that this fail was an isolated event and simply down to me getting unlucky with the questions. I’ll still have to answer the panel when they quiz me at my annual review but I’m beginning to accept that failure is something I’ll have to deal with frequently in grad school.

Have you ever experienced a bad exam in grad school?