I'm just reaching out to fellow graduate students who have already been through this. I'm about one month out from starting classes for physics phD program. Here are my concerns/questions: There is a preliminary exam; if students do not reach a certain percentage they will recommend (and may even make it mandatory this year) that the student takes upper undergraduate level courses first (these count towards a masters, but not the phD). I found a research project I found interesting, relating to biophysics. I would need to brush up on my bio-chem and computer programming to work with this team. Ideally I'd like to do all of these, but since we don't live in a perfect world it's unlikely I would with the amount of time left. So basically my question is, which is most important that I get a head start on, or should I be collectively working to all of these: -Review all of previous physics knowledge [Kinematics - QM]? (I figured this might help with the preliminary exam, TA duties, and maybe even in some of my courses) -Review upper level course material [E.M., Q.M., Upper level mechanics]? (This may be better material to look at for the preliminary exam, and almost definitely help in courses I will take) -Work towards understanding the research project Thank you for your time.