Guidelines for Oral Exams
- BA: The exam takes 30 minutes and covers two topics (approximately 15 minutes for each topic). MA: The exam takes 45 minutes and covers three topics (approximately 15 minutes for each topic). MEd: The exam takes 45 minutes and covers three topics (approximately 15 minutes for each topic). MEd (2016): The exam takes 40 minutes and covers two topics (approximately 20 minutes per topic).
- One part of the examination can be in German if that was agreed prior to the exam.
- I will ask you to open each topic (in case of the MEd, each topic I examine) with a brief statement (1-2 minutes) which you can prepare in advance.
- The general literary, cultural and historical background, including key terminology, is always part of the exam. The focus, however, will be on your theses (see below).
- Before coming to my office hour, please think of possible topics, including possible texts.
- The scope of each topic roughly corresponds to that of one seminar, i.e. covering five ‘substantive cultural/literary/theoretical texts’.
- Depending on length and complexity, one such ‘substantive text’ roughly corresponds to one novel / 1-2 plays / 3-5 short stories / 10-15 poems / 2 feature films / 1 season of a TV series / 1-2 theoretical texts
- To be handed in by email (email@example.com):
- Before registering for the exam: Your list of five ‘substantive texts’ per topic.
- Two weeks before the exam: Your list of three secondary texts per topic. These texts need to present an argument. Introductions, for instance, therefore do not count.
- One week before the exam: 4-7 thesis statements per topic. For advice on how to write a thesis statement, see, for example: https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/