20 Nov

My GREs are over! Yay! Ok, I did average but hey it’s ok, now I can start applying to grad schools.

I want to reminisce a little bit on the whole experience, considering I did take it while in Korea and not back at home in California.

First of all, I work full-time as a teacher and it is no cake walk! Secondly, I’m trying to learn Korean which again is no a piece of cake, and third, I have school loans so I do extra tutoring on the side so that’s another piece of cake gone missing. Fourthly, haha, fourthly sounds strange, I need to find time to work out, grocery shop, clean my apartment, yoga, go to the doctor, go to the Korean target, and oh yeah HAVE A LIFE. After all, I might only be in  Korea for a year, and I’m trying to meet as many Koreans as possible! How else would I be getting all of this information?

So overall, I have about one slice of cake left and that is dedicated to studying. It has been tough! It’s been 8 years since my last standarized test, and I just don’t have the stamina anymore. Plus, I haven’t seen a geometry problem in 10 years, and let’s face it, some of the vocabulary on the test, no one uses those words! I’m an American, I like my vernacular, haha.

So back to the test, after a 70 minute subway ride, I walk to the testing center which is about a ten-minute walk from the subway. The whole time trying to get in those last vocabulary words ingrained into my memory. Palms sweating, brain racing, basically scared shitless.

I want to do well, I want to do amazing, but I know my test taking skills are bad, I know that my vocabulary isn’t as extensive as I’d like it to be, and I know I am slow on answering tricky math problems.

So, I go in to the building, and their is about 50 other people, all with the same anxious look on their face, all waiting to take this terrible 5-hour test. About 80% are Korean, while the rest are various foreigners. I’m thinking hey, Koreans are taking the test, I have a chance, I can kill it! but then I think again, they probably studied for 7,083 hours more than I did, and they will probably kill me in the math section. Shit.

It’s ok though, I pump myself up again, and this time I’m cool, calm and collected. I give my ID, take my test and the test begins. You start with the two essays, those aren’t to bad, they are about topics I am somewhat passionate about, but hey hey hey, this is the GRE, you need to be impartial.

Then the English, WOW OH WOW, hardest verbal section ever. Then math, ugh…huh? Then English again, alright not to bad. Break time. I drink some water, eat some peanuts and get to it again.

By this time, my mind is weary, my eyes are strained, and my attention span is worse than a pineapple. Of course, the last three sections are much easier, but now I’m lazy, and I just want to look at the problems and know the answers without really thinking them through. I start using the calculator A LOT, I start going with my gut and not using process of elimination. I’m hoping for the best and wishing for the perfect score, hahaha.

In the end, I got average, and I was content, not wanting to cry but not always ecstatic. Hey, I’m not a genius, what can i say?

I leave mentally exhausted, and all I want to do is eat, I havent eaten in 7 hours, and those peanuts weren’t exactly a meal.

In my opinion, they need to change the test, why is it so long? Why are the essays first? Why not one essay, one verbal, one quantitative and call it a day. No ones brain works on hyperdrive for that long and consistently enough to do amazing on every single question, and if someones does, they are obviously on adderall or ritalin.



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