Comp exams. Three areas of specialization, three days, three hours each day, three essays each day.
Reasons I am terrified:
I am a slow thinker. I come up with great things to say given enough time, but things come to me in the shower, when I've just woken from a nap, when I least expect it. Writing on the spot is not one of my skills.
The three professors I would have chosen for my committee are gone. Two retired and the other passed away. I have had to choose three new people- only one of whom I've done extensive work with. When I met with one of them to discuss the writers I should study, he rejected my suggestions. His list included people I've never even read, much less studied. Why have I been taking classes for the last three years if the authors I've studied won't be on my exams? I don't know how I'm going to learn all this new material in the next four months (on top of studying for my other two areas, and taking and teaching classes).
I feel at a disadvantage compared to other students at my level. Unlike most of my classmates, I don't have any previous degrees in English, so I don't have the same background of knowledge to build on. My previous degrees and areas of study (music, fine art, and education) are a strength in many ways, but when it comes to being prepared for these exams, they are a weakness.
I really don't know how I'm going to make it through this.