Taking comps is traumatic, so you're only going to get one post on the topic, or you'll feel as queasy as I do.
The way the econ comp works is that a week before the exam you are given a specific article on the economics of education. At that point, the goal is to study it in great depth. You look for everything you don't understand and figure it out, look for holes that could change their findings, and try to guess what questions will be asked.
The exam itself was 7 questions, three of which were multi-part. We had an hour. This makes sense, in a way, because in the first exam, we had three hours to cover three subjects, although I allocated a more than proportional time to econ that time around. We actually ended up with about 10 extra minutes this time.
The first four questions I felt pretty solid on, but I've learned that I am less able to trust my perceptions when it comes to econ than to other topics. Back at IUPUI, I was sure I had flunked our first test in the microeconomics class. I was certain! And then I got it back, and I don't remember the exact grade, but it was at least a B, so nowhere near flunking. And after the comps first time around, I wasn't confident about my econ performance, but this time my uneasiness was right.
I skipped to question 7, then. Six and 7 were "what-if" scenarios. I think if there was an area our studying was weak on, this was it. We were so focused on understanding every footnote and every table that we didn't think, "OK, what scenarios could make their findings invalid?" And we've been through Dr. Ballou's stuff before, so we should have anticipated it. Then again, the possibilities for that sort of thing are infinite, right?
Then I went back to question 5, and just as I was working into it, we were told we had 10 minutes left. I ended up spending three minutes on the last question, and I can tell you that was a flub - I only had time for gut reactions with no explanations. I never run out of time on tests, even when I do badly, but all three of us worked up to the last second. One would expect, of course, that those of us who are poorer at the subject would take longer, but I'm not entirely sure it was just us versus the length of the test. (As there was no control group of highly economically competent grad students, this is just conjecture.)
So now the tests have to be scored. A 1 is a flunk, and 2-4 pass. It's entirely likely that Dr. Ballou has already marked them, but he has blind copies, so he wouldn't be able to tell us how we did. (Unless we all passed, right? So that means we probably didn't.) If a test gets a 1, it goes to a second reader. Judging from last time around, the second reader is unlikely to give it a different score. My two fellow test-takers also had to retake the methods exam, and it's possible they won't tell any of us anything officially until all results are in.
And now, we wait.