Taking the Graduate Record Examination

Is it bad that I just had to look up what GRE actually stood for?  Anyway, I took my test this morning at 8am.  Because it was down near the city, I left super early in case of traffic and grabbed an Einstein Bros. bagel (I had a free coupon!) to eat in the parking lot while I did some last-minute review. Traffic was, of course, nothing and I had about 40 minutes which was perfect.  After checking in and getting all settled, I had to get to work.  Ugh.  The room was silent, which was really nice, and not too crowded.

First up were the essays.  I’m not sure I’m supposed to talk about the actual topics, so I’ll be vague, but they were both on topics I understood!  The first one I had to voice my opinion on studying abroad and the second I had to pick apart an article on the effects of healthy food.  I think I did alright, although it was hard to really stay focused on the specific tasks at hand and not just get carried away with typing (like I do here on my blog).  Going back and editing/reviewing for mistakes is not my thing.  Neither is spelling things correctly or using big words, but I think I held my own.  We’ll see!  The scores for that section will not be in for 10-12 days.

From there was the moment of truth.  At the end of the written section, I was ready to move on to five sections of twenty questions each.  The reason the next step was big is that they alternate verbal and math, so you either get three math or three verbal and one of them doesn’t count.  It’s an experimental section that the test-makers use to test new questions that will be used in the future.  The problem is, you don’t know which is the experimental section so you have to do your best on all three of that style.  I REALLY wanted three math sections because that is my strength and I didn’t want to burn out on all the writing/verbal “crap” with three sections.  Drum roll…

I clicked “Next” and the words QUANTITATIVE SECTION appeared at the top of the screen.  I wasted the first 15 seconds of my time silently celebrating… then I got to work.  I was really feeling good as I went through the first math section, no major holdups.  At the end of the section I had a 10 minutes break, so I went to the bathroom and breathed a sign of relief before settling back in to the rest of the test. Two hours later, and many brain cells exhausted, I hit the final “Continue” button.  Then I had to fill out all my colleges to send my results and then, finally I saw my scores.

They were literally the exact same as my last practice test.  Which I guess is a good thing?  I had hoped to do a little better on the verbal, but according to rough conversions on the internet I was better than 79% of test-takers.  The math was really good, the perfectionist in me is already wondering which questions I missed and is a little annoyed about missing them 🙂  But overall, I think I did alright!  Definitely well enough to avoid having to take the test again, assuming that my written score comes back okay.  That’s a HUGE relief and I can check “Take GRE and have scores sent to schools” off my to-do to get into grad school list!!

Thanks to everyone for all the support leading up to today, I really appreciate it. I’ll post more about my graduate school process later, but for now I’m going to go for a run in my new shoes and enjoy this perfect SoCal day 🙂


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Liberati
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 11:19:09




  2. Trackback: A New Kind of “Studying” « Rays of Funshine
  3. Trackback: Graduate School: Round Two « Rays of Funshine

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