Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crunch Time

I have 4 weekends left to study for my First Comprehensive Final and I am having a hard time concentrating. I feel so burned out. Last semester just did me in. Somehow I have to find the strength and concentration to keep studying. Because I'm feeling so burned out, I am planning to take only one final this summer. I will have to take 3 finals during the fall semester. So the final that I need to prepare for now is on June 23; I have to be ready for it and I have to pass it.

I have been trying to figure out a way to make progress with the studying in spite of how I feel. I have come up with a plan. Tonight I am posting here a brief general outline of the topics that that will be on the final. At the end of every day, I will post the topics I have completed studying that day. Monday through Friday, I will not be able to study very much because I am juggling 3 internships and 1 part-time job. But I will study something, even if it is not much. During the 4 weekends that I have left, I will have to study a lot. I will have to push myself to the max and then push some more.

General Topics for the Comprehensive Final

Part 1. Diagnostics
1. Nematode identification, quantification, and management recommendations for each nematode id'd
2. Insect and mite identification (98 of them) - know life history, life stages, pest status, host plant (including part of plant), types of cultural, biological, chemical control

Part 2. Concepts and Principles (7-10 questions)
1. Nematology - races, resistance, extraction techniques, lab techniques, major diseases, virus vectors
2. Mites - differences between insects and mites, the different mites, life stages, host plants, damage, predator mites, mite reproduction, management and control strategies
3. Integrated Pest Management - definition of IPM, economic injury level, economic threshold level, sampling methods, trapping methods
4. Biological Control - definition, terminology, important uses of biological control in the past
5. Insect Toxicology - insect nervous system, resistance
6. Pesticides - nematicides, acaricides, insecticides, major resistance issues in this state.

Part 3. Broad-scope integrative questions (3-4 questions, 2-3 page answers for each question is required)
1. Acarology - steps and procedures involved in finding a natural enemy in another country for an invasive mite pest in the U.S., then bringing the natural enemy to the U.S., rearing it, and releasing it.
2. Entomology - design a study to determine the efficacy of 3 insecticides. Defend the experimental design.
3. Nematology

Later tonight I will post what topics I studied today. I hope this helps me.

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