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How to excel at a Master's Degree

  1. Jun 20, 2014 #1
    Hi Guys,

    Please give me some advice! Kindly bear with me while I explain my situation. I'm incapable of explaining things briefly :(

    I'm 24 year old with a dual bachelor's degree (Physics + Mechanical Engineering Design). I graduated in Aug 2012 and immediately started working as a Design Engineer with Thomas & Betts in Sep 2012. I've been employed ever since and have been enjoying my work. Now, after completing 2 years of work experience, I'm considering to pursue a Master's Degree in Germany. I've already been accepted and I'm all set to resign and go in Sep 2014.

    However, my only issue is that although I was extremely sound in academics in my high school (never below 90%), I turned out be quite terrible in my undergrad (final CGPA 7.23/10). It wasn't even the case that I was busy partying and wasting time. I suddenly started feeling that the curriculum was too complicated. In my first year I started out with 5.something and finally managed to reach 7.23 but honestly by the time of graduation I was gasping for breath and waiting for the horror to end!

    I used to enjoy studying, but somehow my undergrad tenure has rendered me quite phobic and I feel that I can never excel. Please advice me how to study better for my masters degree. I don't want it to turn out like my Bachelors. I managed to get a good job and somehow the failures while studying never seem to pose any problems in my job. I was quite excellent and got an exceptional performance review both the years! But I really want to pursue masters because the thought that I'm running away from a problem keeps haunting me all the time. I need to prove to myself that I can excel at studies too, just like I excel at my work. I need to do it right this time!

    Please help with whatever advice you can share. I really appreciate your help. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That is a serious problem - the ability to describe a problem in it's basic terms is essential. Here, let me help...

    You have a bachelors, been accepted to a masters program after some years working in your field.
    Your concern is that you found the bachelors course difficult, and you expect the masters to be worse.

    You are seeking advise on how to study during your masters program so as to minimize the pain.

    Have you discussed your concerns with someone at the institution where you have been accepted?

    The toughest part of the program is usually the first year where most will insist you take academic papers - this will be much tougher than your bachelors experience, but take heart that since you are capable of getting a bachelors, and you were accepted into the program, you are capable. Also Masters students usually get much more help in completing their studies than an undergraduate - it tends to look bad if you fail you see.

    I found the best approach was to meet regularly with the other year-1 masters students - do assignments and so on together. At my University, the year-1 students were assigned a room together to facilitate this but that is not the case for everywhere. You will find students are happy to help each other study and helping others will help you.

    Universities usually have programs which employ postgraduate students as teaching assistants - apply for these positions. In addition, have a go looking through the engineering problems posted on PF and see where you can help out.

    Helping others through their problems is great for self confidence.
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