This is going to be the most critical week of my academic career (at least, since a week in March 1978 when I had four final exams for my first degree held in the space of five days): on Thursday, the 'Introduction to Business Research 3' exam will be held, and on Friday, IBR2. Those who follow the story will know that I should have taken IBR2 in June but got the dates mixed up. Maybe this will be the last time I ever have to sit a formal, written exam. I don't remember thinking this in 1978, although I did think it in about 1986 when I took an accounting exam. Little did I know then. I certainly didn't think it a year and a half ago when I sat my final MBA exam as I knew that I would be continuing my career.
If I pass the two exams, then presumably I can start on the interesting part of my doctoral studies. If I fail one or both, then I will have to take it/them again, which means waiting another six months.
I've been working on the material for IBR3 for the past month and am now fairly confident about it. There will be two questions in the exam: the first one will be to read the methodology section of a thesis and point out its strengths and weaknesses, possibly even having to rewrite part of it. The second question will be a statistical analysis of the given data. Almost certainly, part of the analysis will involve the chai squared test, probably in conjunction with some tests regarding regression. I've worked hard on the statistics, as this is easier for me; hopefully I can get a good mark on this part of the exam, thus needing fewer marks from the first half in order to pass. As always, one needs 50% in order to pass, and I'm hoping that I'll get 40 from the second question. I haven't neglected the first part, and after analysing several previous exam papers, I'm fairly aware of the points which I will have to make.
On the other hand, .I wasn't very confident about IBR2 six months ago and I'm not very confident about it now. I've been concentrating on this material for the last couple of days and will devote almost all my remaining time to it now. The trouble - at least, for me - is that the material is too amorphous and difficult to get a grip on. I shall have to work out a strategy for answering, in the same way that I have for IBR3, although previous exam papers seem to be less consistent in their structure.
I thought that the exams, as per previous years, would be held in the seaside hotel, but presumably I'm the only Heriot Watt student left in Israel and it would be too expensive to hire the hall there. A few weeks ago, I was sent instructions telling me that the exams would be held in the British Council building, but a week ago I was sent another letter telling me that the venue has moved. Both these new locations are 5-10 minutes walking distance from a train station in Tel Aviv, so it won't be a problem getting to them. I will phone the contact number on Wednesday to ensure that I go to the correct address. If I'm going to be the only examinee, maybe we can start before the advertised time: the exams are supposed to start at 9:30am, but I imagine that I'll be there by 8:15am. I could of course travel by a later train, but I prefer to be early rather than arrive at the last minute.