A Suggestion on Master's Degree Testing

Jason Y writes:

Well, sometimes people need tough love. I mean your drill instructor isn’t going to tell you how “special you are”.

I love the idea of getting a degree or obtaining an achievement where you were ass-whipped and make to go through Hell and high water to get it. That means that program or achievement has actual standards and they are not just handing out degrees or awards to anyone who is breathing.
I have had a number of hard-ass “screw up and you’re gone just like that” type jobs. Well, really, most jobs are like that, no? I have also been through some pretty savage academic programs. The teaching credential was ok, but the student teaching part of it was pretty nightmarish. And they wrung me through the motherfucking ringer to get that Masters Degree. But that’s the way I like it.I don’t want my achievements to be given to me frivolously. I like having to work and slave and gruel like a motherfucker to get my reward.
Actually I failed the Master’s exam I think 2-3 times. I finally passed it on the last try. We had to test out instead of writing out as in a thesis. A lot of the stuff on the test was never even taught to us in the first place. We were expected to know this somehow because to obtain the Master’s, we were expected to go “above and beyond” the curriculum and I guess read everything ever written in the field. Except they never told us about this above and beyond stuff until after we took the Masters Test.
Personally I pretty much got straight A’s in all my classes, and then they were bombing me out on an exam at the end. That means there is something wrong with the program. Either the curriculum is deficient or the test is excessively difficult as the curriculum as the test ought to line up with the coursework pretty well.
A person getting straight A’s in the program should learn enough to fly out with the test. If the test is much harder than the curriculum, then there is a mismatch. The test ought to measure what we were taught in the program and nothing else, eh?
I did not like the way it was set up. With a doctorate, you can’t really flunk out. If your dissertation blows, they just hand it back. And as long as it keeps blowing, they keep handing it back. There are guys who have been been working on their PhD’s for 20 years and they keep being denied. One man was working on a math PhD for 20 years and they kept handing it back to him and saying redo it. After 20 years, he brought an ax into his adviser’s office and murdered the guy. It was a horrible case, but I almost chuckle when I hear about it nevertheless because it’s so real.
They will never throw these people out of the program. They will just handing the paper back and saying fix it. I would like Master’s theses and Master’s test-outs to be the same. You get to keep taking the test once or twice a year forever until you pass. Maybe at some point you have to pay a fee to take the test.
I like the idea of the Law Bar. After you get your JdD, you can never fail an exam and lose it all. Sure you have to pass the Bar, but you get to keep taking it once a year forever. I have known several folks who acquired law degrees but then were unable to pass the Bar. You would be surprised at how common that is.
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0 thoughts on “A Suggestion on Master's Degree Testing”

  1. The GPA means a lot to employers. Therefore, if your just going to college to party, then you better rethink what your doing. Yes, I agree with Robert’s statement that something easily earned isn’t worth much, and doesn’t give you the same feeling of satisfaction. However, a lot of young students might settle for an average GPA, cause they don’t have the old age wisdom to understand.

    1. A lot of people go for a Master’s degree, especially an MBA because it’s required to get promoted to the next position. It’s not really about learning but about climbing the ladder.

  2. I agree. One test shouldn’t be the end all be all to getting a Master’s degree. If you fail it, you should be allowed to try again otherwise it’s a complete waste of money and ripping off the student.

  3. I think part of the problem is that nowadays students are paying customers. I’ll let you finish that thought off.

  4. When you apply to teach in inner city schools (NYC teaching program), and a letter comes back saying the position is competitive (meaning your GPA in college was too low), then that’s a rude awakening.
    Instead of all the anti-smoking propaganda at school, maybe they need signs encouraging students to keep a high GPA.

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