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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2007
     
    I'm taking the GRE today.

    I know I haven't prepared for it enough. I went through a practice test from the GRE website. It wasn't any harder than the SAT, but I'm a horrible test-taker. I read the questions too quickly and miss important information.

    I haven't used much math since 2001. I had to do some proportions and conversions in my last job. It's just algebra on the GRE. I should do fine. I keep telling myself this.

    I'm more worried about another part of my grad school application: the statement of purpose. All of the most recent news I've read is that admissions staff want to have a balance of students. They want variety and individualism. They want smarts too, but most people who apply to grad school are intelligent. I have a good undergraduate record, three letters of recommendation from professors who loved me, and I should do well on the GRE.
    So now all I have to do is write an essay that shows how awesome I am. I don't think I'm awesome though; I know way too many people better than me. UT's School of Information is #1 in the nation. I've heard they accept 1 out of every 3 people who apply. How can I stand out?

    I awoke to completely overcast skies, and now it's raining. The test center is about 30 minutes away, so I hope it doesn't rain all the way there.

    Bleh. I want to puke.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2007
     
    Best of luck. I've never been all that excited by the prospect of grad school, but it would probably be nice to have one of those degrees:P

    Anyway, I hope you ace the test and write an award winning essay:)

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2007
     
    It rained all day.

    And I sucked. The test was harder than I expected, especially the math, and I was only able to answer 10 of the 28 math questions. I finished all of the verbal, barely, and I think one of my essays was good (hopefully at least worth a score of 5), but I needed more time to work out those math problems.

    I took the computer-based adaptive form of the GRE. The questions are given to you one at a time; you can not move on to the next question until you answer the current one. And you can not go back to previous questions. The difficulty and type of question you get next depends on how you answer the previous.
    So, you start off with a question of "medium" difficulty, if you answer it correctly, you get a harder question. If you answer incorrectly, you get an easier one. I thought the very first question was sooooo easy, so I was like, "Alright! I'm gonna be fine." It seemed like the rest of the questions were very hard. I doubt I answered every single one correctly, so I guess not all the medium-level questions are so easy. But, I felt like I was able to confidently answer the questions, I just needed lots of time to do it. Thus the reason I only got through 10. An unanswered question counts the same as an incorrect one, which counts against you. Maybe I should have just guessed at some of the more difficult ones to purposely get an easier question, but I would have felt bad about myself if I had. At least I know I worked hard for those answers and did the best I could.

    In any case, from what I've read of people in the program I'm applying to, and other grad students besides, admissions staff don't put lots of weight on the GRE.

    Despite my depressing performance on the GRE, I'm in good spirits. I just wrote, by hand, THREE pages of my statement of purpose. And I have more to write. All of these ideas I've had floating in my head for the past couple of months suddenly came together after I recalled an experience from 4 years ago. Nothing big or bad. It's a fairly mediocre memory, but it's a great intro to this essay. I'll probably cut out some of the things I've written, but I'm so glad to finally get past this brain-block I've had.
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2007
     
    I took the GRE about a year and a half ago...and so far, I've done jack shit with it.

    I'm glad to hear, though, that admissions folk don't put much stock in it...I mean, I did fairly well, but it felt so stupid. It was just another useless test, like the SATs and all that standardized crap you take in grammar school.

    If forced to write a statement of purpose, I wouldn't have the slightest idea what to write...