#62- the GRE

I took the GRE today.  Definitely a few years late, and an official regret that I didn’t take it sooner.  Because it turns out, everything you need to know to pass the GRE, get high scores and be considered for a Doctorate program-  you learn your junior year of high school.  I managed to avoid taking it to get in to my Master’s program, but if I am serious about applying for a Doctorate program (which I am) then I had to take it now. Hence it being #62 on my list.

Since getting into the room where the GRE is administered has tighter security than a Secret Service Hotel Room in Colombia, I don’t have any pictures of the task at hand- but of course plenty of negative commentary.

The first being, I truly felt a little old fashioned when I sat down in front of a computer screen and immediately longed for the days of my number 2 pencil and scantron form.  I worried that I might click the wrong box (at any given moment you can click on 12 different links, half of them being the option to end the test or kill yourself now), exit the entire program, void an answer, jump ahead too soon, and what if I want to go back and change an answer later? Or come back to a question I was hesitant on? Part of my strategy for any test was to look for clues for the right answer somewhere else in the booklet.  Now that can’t happen.

Second, the GRE it seems, is not a test of memorization recall so much as it seems to be a test of mental endurance.  Sure, I might be able to figure out the answer to something, but after three hours of sitting in a chair, with my eyes burning from staring at a screen and having a fetus attached to my abdomen thinking now is a good time to elbow me in the ribs, I don’t want to figure out the answer anymore.  I began weighing the probability of choosing correct answers rather than really breaking it down into manageable parts to find the correct answer.

Third, ….why?  why?? why Mr. Garrett must I learn the linear curve of 2x ²-(3x*52)= y-1 and figure out where (or IF!) the line crosses the axis???  “Because Ms. Minnema, there will come a day in your adulthood where you will find yourself taking a GRE in hopes to pursue your dreams and this question will be on the test, and will likely make or break you.”  My math teacher haunted me for half this test, I could hear his voice.  Similar to the same way I can still hear my running coach yelling at me as plug away at a marathon.

I am indifferent to test taking. I never study and the one time I actually did, for the National Counselor’s Exam, memorization of 500 flashcards with all relevant and irrelevant facts did not come to help me on a single question.  So, I did do a little review and practice test taking but I think it’s all baloney regardless.  I’m really banking on the idea that any forward-thinking, liberal professor reviewing my plea to get in to their program will feel the same way.

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