Thursday, 29 November 2012

The GRE

It's about time a proper post has been done. It's also a day late so my bad. I'm almost in the clear (for this week) but earlier this week was not so much fun for me. Mainly for one reason, the Graduate Record Examinations or GRE. If you want to get into any English speaking graduate school for your Masters degree, you're probably want to take this exam.

So while we're on topic, let's take a look at what this exam entails. The trials and tribulations of this stupid test that requires you to pay a third party company nearly $200 so you have a chance of advancing your education.

I was forced to to do this if I wanted to have a chance at Speech and Language Pathology.

Can't say I was pleased.

There are multiple variations of this exam. I only wrote the Revised (aka. general) version so I'm only going to be talking about that one. But I know friends who wrote Physics or Biology orientated versions so those exist too.

Basically, 7 parts: 2 writing, 2 reading, 2 math and the fake part. You have half an hour each of those parts and you can't go back once the time is up. They're all pretty self-explanatory with the exception of the "fake" part. In order to test new questions for future exams, they throw in an extra reading or math section that's worth nothing BUT looks identical to the other parts.

You're wasting time, energy, and effort on a worthless section. You're paying to help them screw over future students. That's so nice of them.

Thanks a lot, jerks.

Writing is writing. Nothing special here. Here's a topic, argue for or against it.

The reading sections consist of reading, vocabulary testing and sometimes both. Reading passages and answering questions is fairly standard, it's the vocab that's annoying. So for example, you'll be given a passage like "Abraham Lincoln was known for his _________ personality." and then you have to pick two words from a list that not only make sense with the sentence, but mean the same thing.

So your word bank will be like "GREGARIOUS. EQUIVOCATE. VICARIOUS. PROSAIC. EGREGIOUS. BLINKERED." Also, you have to get both words right to get 1 point. No half marks here.

Math is math. High school material really. You know, Train A is traveling 50km/h and Train B leaves in the opposite direction at twice the speed, Circle D has a circumference of 9x, determine the diameter of the square inside it, a company's value goes up 10%, how much more funding does Department X get compared to Department Y?

Derp derp.

So comes test day. You'd think I was going to prison or something. Photo ID required, picture taken, dumped in a small room with cameras observing me at all times. They really take this test seriously.

The writing portion is easy. If there's anything I can do it's pull a coherent mass of words out of my butt and have it sound amazing. The first hour is uneventful. Actually I'll be honest with you, the whole 3-4 hours was uneventful.

I finished most of the sections with time to spare and check over previous answers. Now, the thing about the GRE is how it grades your exam. The writing is marked separately out of 6. The reading and math are out of 50 marks and are converted into a score out of 170. Only the grade out of 170 matters. So you could get 27/50 on the math part and that could translate into 146/170.

ME NO MATH GOOD.

The best thing about the GRE is that at the end, they give you your score for the reading and math portions. The writing gets sent for marking and that mark comes 3 weeks later.

I got 156 and 159/170. The average varies from 145-150.

The funny thing is that the GRE study guides have schedules for people to study months or weeks in advance. I started studying for this thing half a week beforehand.

Not bad for half a week of studying.

18 comments:

  1. Damn good job, what cramming can do haha never heard of the fake part before, paying to screw people over, sure it isn't the first time.

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  2. This test sounds utterly insane man but like you said it's also a necessity so I'm pleased to hear that you got above average, to me it sounds like you kicked ass especially without doing so much studying. Well done mate, just keep on fighting, it's great to have time for a lengthy write up too I'm sure.

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  3. So far, so good! Good luck with your final results. I wrote a similar exam once, back in the mists of time. In those days, they fingerprinted you before letting you take the test.

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  4. That is pretty damn good so well done. That test sounds grueling, brutal, and not worth the money. I'm not sure I want to advance my education now.

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  5. Good score man! I lucked out and my program allowed the g-MAT, if you had a high enough score.

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  6. next time, try studying only on the night before :P

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  7. And life's good. Congrats! I would've been scared for math myself.. lol

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  8. Congrats! I hate standardized tests. Glad you have this under your belt.

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  9. Please tell me you had some fun with that Abraham Lincoln question? Like Abraham Lincoln was known for his SENSUALLY EXOTIC personality! (That's just what I would have gone with.)

    Congrats on the rip off test. I always knew you were above average!!

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  10. Not bad at all. I have to take this bitch to roll into grad school for English. If only I had money first

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  11. Congrats! And I'm with Lil Dreamer. I saw that part and instantly thought 'Mad Libs!'

    Abraham Lincoln was known for his ___bonerific___ personality.

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  12. Way to go,man! I'm almost sure that the third part was aced, you're a test-taker like me.

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  13. You did pretty well, in the end! Sounds like it was a tough coming and going, but it sure paid off~

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  14. I could swear I commentd already, oh well. Soridiculous to make you pay to pass an exam but glad it went so well with the scores you have already gotten in.

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  15. better you than me! i would have choked on the test! pretty sure of it!

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  16. congrats! when i took the gre, i bombed. i am a notoriously bad test taker. when i took it the second time, i bombed even worse. haha, it's true!
    thanks so much for your comment at my place:)

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  17. Good information about GRE it is very useful for students

    GRE Analogies

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