5 Steps to prepare yourself for PhD Degree

posted by Chris Valentine

For most people, the thought of studying for a PhD degree often seems overwhelming and unrealistic. Some see it as an act of overreaching. This type of degree is quite different from other forms of education; therefore, it can be difficult to know how to prepare for a PhD degree. One of the most common questions students planning to pursue a doctorate ask themselves is, “Who will write my dissertation for me?” 

Fortunately, if you make adequate preparations, you will improve your chances of achieving your goal of reaching the top brick of the educational pyramid. This involves following the best practices in the early stages of preparation and commencement. 

Whether you are returning to the world of academia after a few years or recently graduated, you need to know the top 5 steps to prepare yourself for PhD degree. 

1. Practice your Time Management and Organizational Skills

Being a PhD student means being your own boss in terms of managing your research project and planning your working hours. This sounds like an awesome thing; however, it can overwhelm you unless you prepare yourself for the huge challenges you will face. You need to ensure you are ready in advance by determining your most effective working schedule, which will help you maintain productivity and keep you focused and inspired. 

2. Learn how to Build and Develop Working Relationships

Early on in your preparations, however, you will need to learn how to build and develop effective working relationships with several important people in your academic life. The most essential one is with your supervisor. He/she will help you with your research, provide guidance, help coordinate your studies, and offer constructive feedback. 

The exact responsibilities and role your supervisor will perform will depend on your chosen course, his/her personality and working style and the institution where you are taking your PhD degree. It is important, therefore, to improve your communication skills and effective working relationships. 

3. Improve your Academic Skills

To succeed in most sporting disciplines, you need to practice and strengthen your muscles. Similarly, if you are considering pursuing a PhD degree, you will need a strong brain and willpower to handle the challenges. Therefore, exercise your brain and get it into shape by reading extensively about your chosen course. 

4. Have a Plan B

Plan A’s do not always work, especially when it comes to doctorate studies. You may lose inspiration, for example, or your research may fail to go as planned. Various issues can cause your plan A to fail. Therefore, it is always smart to have a good alternative.

5. Learn how to Take Criticism and Work as a Team

PhD studies often require students to be part of a small research team/group, which might consist of a few students and their supervisor. To prepare yourself for this, you need to learn how to work with others, take criticism, and give criticism, which will mean having the ability to desensitize your ego.


Reaching the top is always tricky and difficult. Before the brave individuals who choose to climb a mountain embark on their journey, they make careful and thorough preparations. Just like climbing Mt. Everest, studying for a doctorate is a massive challenge. Fortunately, you should be able to meet it head on and succeed if you prepare yourself adequately. 

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