So most of us don't have to take these for another year, but I suspect many of us are still frightened to death at the prospect. For that reason, I'd like to ask qual veterans (or incoming grad students who happen to know a lot about the process) about the exams a bit. Every school I talked to quoted a 95% eventual pass rate. However, it's known to everyone that difficulty and number of tries varies widely from school to school. So does this 95% rate seem representative of your experience, or is this simply an average that every school uses, regardless if that particular institution is much lower?
Additionally, do you have any suggestions as to when to begin studying for the quals? I intend to study during this summer and throughout the year as a kind of "building up" process, but maybe my time would be better spent doing something else (like studying for my actual, you know, classes).
More jokes are welcome.