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?
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.