So You are Thinking of Doing a PhD ... take this simple test


1. When you finished your undergraduate degree, you ...
A. experienced an overwhelming sense of relief
B. looked forward to getting a good job and earning some money
C. felt short-changed and thought surely there must be more to the subject than that
D. just kept working on your student project which you never finished to your own satisfaction

2. You think that the hardest part of postgraduate study will be ...
A. the advanced course material
B. coming up with good ideas
C. testing your own ideas to destruction
D. getting an appointment with your supervisor

3. You like the idea of research, because ...
A. researchers enjoy high prestige, low stress jobs
B. you can pursue your own concerns without having to worry about others
C. it really matters that your problem is addressed
D. you are wholly unemployable

4. When confronted with a difficult problem to solve you tend to be ...
A. intimidated
B. impatient
C. persistent
D. asleep

5. If faced with a challenge requiring a wholly new solution you usually ...
A. look for a new challenge
B. refuse to believe it is a new challenge and trawl the Internet for existing solutions
C. enthusiastically generate reams of solutions, many, frankly, wholly unworkable
D. ask the other guys in the office

6. If asked to write up your work you ...
A. would prefer to do a Powerpoint presentation
B. would make a flashy Prezi and then people might ignore the content
C. start drafting, you love the craft
D. spend a week configuring LaTex appropriately

7. Somebody criticises your discipline, you ...
A. do not recognise any sense of identity with it
B. respond with an instinctive hostility
C. defend it with vigour but enjoy the argument
D. agree and cite papers going back twenty years with the same criticisms

8. When it is suggested that that the solution to a particular challenge might be best found within another discipline you ...
A. are incredulous
B. are worried
C. are excited
D. are already looking up impact factors of the journals in that discipline

9. You have told your family and partner that you are considering doing a PhD, they are ...
A. horrified, what will they tell their friends?
B. mystified, why do you want to do that?
C. proud and naively accepting
D. resigned

10. You will be part of a research team, this will allow you to ...
A. tell other people what to do
B. avoid taking responsibility for hard decisions
C. share work and ideas
D. organise great FIFA 2015 tournaments

11. Your friends say you are ...
A. exceptionally level-headed
B. usually sensible
C. prone to bouts of wild eccentricity
D. what friends?

Mostly As - Under no circumstances, avoid doing a PhD at all costs
Mostly Bs - OK, if you must, just not with me
Mostly Cs - You are the ideal candidate, you must have cheated
Mostly Ds - Why did you do this test, you are clearly already a PhD student