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EE Prelim Q&A
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  1. EE Prelim Q&A Laurent El Ghaoui Chair, EE Graduate Study/Prelim Committee Dept. of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences University of California, Berkeley, California 94720 E-mail: elghaoui@berkeley.edu Fall 2012 EE Prelim Orientation August 14, 2012

  2. The Prelim Oral Exam Statement of Purpose: • An advisory role in a student’s graduate studies program • Students must be able to demonstrate an integrated grasp of the exam area's body of knowledge in an unstructured framework Timing: • Offered the first week of every semester • Admits with B.S. must take by 3rd semester or earlier • Admits with M.S. must take by 2nd semester or earlier Format: • 60-min. oral exam w/ a committee of 3 faculty examiners

  3. EE Prelim Oral Exam Areas Communications (Comm) Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Electromagnetics(EM) Integrated Circuits (IC) Linear Systems (LS) Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Optoelectronics and Photonics (Opto) Semiconductor Devices (SD) Semiconductor Processing (SP) • For syllabi and old exam questions, go to: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/GradAffairs/EE/Prelims/

  4. GPA Distribution As of Fall 2011 • For students in the Ph.D. program, GPA must be >3.5 to take prelims EECS Threshold (3.5) Campus Threshold (3.0)

  5. The Prelim Decision Process Score  6.0 Ph.D. Program Prelim Breadth Requirement Attempt #1 Exam Comm Score  6.0 Score  6.0 Attempt 1 + Attempt 2 Pass Rates ~ 90 - 95% for the last 20 years Attempt #2 Exam Comm Research Advisor Input Score  6.0 Prelim Committee Department Goal (100-  )% Not Pass BMW …….. $$$

  6. Tips to Ease Prelim Anxiety Before the Exam: • Get plenty of white board Q/A practice, especially with old exam questions • If you do not know an examiner at all, ask for a 10 min. appointment to introduce yourself before the exam • If you need clarification with the syllabus, contact the exam group chair During the Exam: • Browse over the exam questions before you start answering • It is ok to ask for clarification and hints during the exam • the examiner may streamline the question for you • Your answers don’t have to be perfect to get a pass

  7. Feedback Is Important • In the unfortunate event of not passing the first attempt, take it as a wakeup call • the world doesn’t end • read the exam report in your student file • take steps to improve your understanding of the material, your ability to answer questions on a white board, your English skills, … • Inform EEGSA reps your exam feedback and complaints • faculty do listen to your suggestions • For petitions, start with the EE Graduate Office, 205 Cory Hall, (510) 643-8347

  8. Appendix

  9. Prelim Pass/Fail Stats Overall • More students taking prelims in the fall

  10. Prelim Pass/Fail Stats Per Semester • More students taking prelims in the fall