I survived GRE hell this morning. I get really stressed out when I take tests or have to speak in front of a group, so to avoid being up all night worrying I took a melatonin last night, which KNOCKED me out. (I still had GRE test-taking nightmares. I dreamt that two guys in my test-taking room were partying and watching TV, so I had only done two problems by the time Martin and everyone else in the other room had already finished their tests.) I was worried I wouldn’t wake from my melatonin-induced grog this morning, so I did practice GRE questions on my laptop on BART on the way to get my brain juices flowing.
By the way, I was suprised by two things this morning: 1) that the sun wasn’t up yet at 6:45 a.m. when I got to BART and 2) by the number of people already ON BART at 6:45 a.m. Now I understand why the freeways are backed up at 4 p.m. Some people actually get to work at 7:30 in the morning! (What is wrong with you people?) I’m neither a night owl nor an early riser. I like to go to bed at 12 and get up at 8:30 (ideally). I love getting up in the morning before everyone else when the streets are dark and the city is quiet, but I’m also pretty groggy and disoriented when I do.
Anyway, the math was much more difficult than I expected, and I found myself taking so much time on questions at the beginning that I didn’t even get to finish the test (I rushed through the second half and still had one question left to go when the timer ran out). On the other hand, I knew 95% of the vocabulary words (and it’s b.s. that you can’t improve your verbal score by studying vocabulary. Many of those words were ones I learned in the past month.). And YET, I still scored higher on the math than on the verbal—go figure.
In case you’re wondering WHY I took the GRE, I’m not planning to go to grad school again. I just want to be able to tutor it, and figured I’d be a better tutor if I took the test myself. Yes, you could say I took it “for the fun of it.” I’m kind of masochistic in that way.
I think they should eliminate time limits on standardized tests, or at least make them twice as long. It’s too stressful to be rushed, and it’s not like you’re gong to get problems right that you wouldn’t otherwise if you had more time. Anyway, as painful as it was (Tonight I plan to drink wine and watch lots of TV), all in all it went pretty well.