My qual study schedule

Last updated 30 April 1998

Disclaimer: The contents of this page are merely the opinions of the author. They are not necessarily the opinions or policies of the ECE department. While generalizations about the exam can be made, each exam is unique, and the generalizations may not be true for a particular exam. While I think the advice offered will help you prepare for the exam, there can be no guarantee of success.

My qual presentation was "Evaluation and Reduction of Power Consumption in the Navigator 1 Wearable Computer". The areas of ECE that were directly related to the talk were computer architecture, solid state physics, digital design, and operating systems.

The texts I decided to study were:

I did not cover all of the material in each book. When I made up the schedule, I went through the table of contents of each book and picked out the important sections. In some books, H&P and the Modular Series, for example, I ended up covering almost the entire book. In others, I only studied one or two chapters.

The schedule I worked out had me covering 2000+ pages of material in 8 weeks, with 2-3 weeks left at the end to work problems and to polish up my slides. I also finished my masters report over the same period of time. Most days were spent covering one book in the morning and another in the afternoon, to keep from burning out on one subject.

I decided early on that studying 7 days a week for 10 weeks would be counterproductive. I forced myself to take one day a week completely off. No studying allowed. By the end, I felt that it was one of the best decisions I had made.

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