Studying for the Exam

How to study for the examination:

1. Plan early. Assess your level of preparation in each of the chronological periods covered by the examination. Use the course distribution requirement in the Master's program to enhance your foundation in several periods of western art history.

2. In the areas where you know you lack a solid foundation in course work, consider taking an undergraduate course for graduate credit by arrangement with the instructor. The semester's lectures, recommended readings, and required research paper will provide an efficient background in the period by giving you an overview and exposing you to the literature and historiographical problems in the field. Where possible, follow this by taking a 500-level graduate course.

3. If you don't have the time or available credits to take an undergraduate course for graduate credit and then a graduate course, audit as many undergraduate course that survey different chronological periods as possible.

4. In the areas where you conclude that you have a solid grounding in undergraduate and graduate courses, reread your course notes to determine whether they still provide the best basis from which to study. Look through the readings in these areas recommended in Section III. Scan those that you have already read to decide how closely you need to reread them. Evaluate the usefulness of the other readings in light of your background and choose those to scan and those to use as fundamental tools to extend the solid base of knowledge you already have. Decide on the most effective procedure to review the new and familiar notes and readings.

5. Use the surveys like Gardner, Janson, and Stokstad to weigh the relative emphasis that is typically put on various countries, media, and artists in the different chronological periods n western art history. As there are only 75 slides and a choice of broad thematic essays, concentrate on what have traditionally been deemed the major trends, artists, and monuments.

6. Use your notes and the books on the reading list to plan and write "open-book" essays to questions asked in old examinations. If possible, team up with other students and form a study group to evaluate each other's essays and share tips.

a. With the question in mind, take notes on the material you want to include in each essay.

b. Write an outline from these notes that takes into account the faculty's recommendations about essay writing.

c. Actually write the essay. In this practice work, timing the essay in not important, but writing an essay of the approximate length of M.A. Examination essays is.

d. Evaluate the results yourself- or better- have a study-partner evaluate it.