With success in graduate studies being a prerequisite for a career in research, it is not at all surprising that this topic has attracted some serious research. However, what I find really perplexing is why computer science types have come to dominate this field so comprehensively …
This article by Marie desJardins is certainly among the best. It cites another very good article by David Chapman. In addition, there is a fairly large number of compilations of web articles dishing out advice; see, for example, this one maintained by Dan Horn at the University of Michigan. One of the best lists is the one maintained by Scott Keogh, a zoologist at the Australian National University. In particular, check out the cynical and modest advice from a couple of zoologists from the University of California, Berkeley.
Being a graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bashful. In the middle, you are usually sick (Sneezy), tired (Sleepy), and irritable (Grumpy). But at the end, they call you Doc, and then you're Happy.
What about the Indian scene? Anindya Chatterjee, a colleague in the Mechanical Engineering Department has a thoughtful and balanced article that weighs the pros and cons of pursuing graduate studies at IISc. If you know of any other such articles from Indian academics, do please leave the URL in the comments.