Would Math professors ace PhD qualifying exams?

  • Thread starter Gjmdp
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  • #26
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Does the "Qualifying Examination" difficulty or set of content depend on the particular institution or department?
It must vary from place to place; each department at each school makes up their own exam. It also varies from year to year, and I'm pretty sure the exams today would be quite different from what I took many years ago.
 
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  • #27
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I think it depends on what you mean by "qualifying exam". Many math PhD programs have two sets of exams: one that tests basic undergraduate/first year graduate material and one that tests tests advanced topics related to the examinee's prospective area(s) of research- and which is called the "qualifying exam" varies by university. My guess is that basically all math professors would do very well on the first kind, but maybe not on the second kind if the areas were outside their specialty.

Interesting. I would have said the opposite, that professors would ace a qualifying exam but that they might not ace the more general exam depending on their specialization.

For instance, I know of some Professors who know almost zero about Abstract Algebra.
 

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