So… I am back from taking the practice GRE. What a complicated test experience! I arrived pretty early to the testing site but was unprepared to what they had in store.
Not all practice tests will be computer-based. I guess the first lesson in this is to always bring a pencil. I didn’t have any on me because I thought it’d be on the computer. Now I know! Testing companies (say, the ones that rhyme with Shmaplan…) do not, in fact, offer the most authentic testing environment.
Not all practice tests look like Barron’s GRE. Whoa. This was pretty startling. Most of the questions (say, quantitative) were not those braintwisters that the Barron’s book throws at you all of the time. Most of them were straightforward, calculate-this-type of question. I was used to finding the “trick” to everything, and that takes time. Sometimes it’s less time-consuming to use Pythagorean Theorem!
Not all test proctors are this fake. The guy who proctored my test was overly upbeat for 10AM, but he did raise some specific points to what I should be looking for in the GRE. More on that later!
You will not do this badly on the real thing. Yup, didn’t do as well as I hoped. For some reason the math section kicked my butt, as it always does. And from the results it looks like I need to greatly review things like simple calculations, and word problems. I also need to review reading comprehension, which I plan to do!
Overall, from the two mini-sections I took, I got a 500 Quantitative and a 590 Verbal. We didn’t do a writing sample. To tell you the truth I kind of expected the math score, but I wasn’t expecting the verbal. I was hoping for a high 600s on my first take. Not the case.
This test experience was a little unsettling for me, but much needed. It showed what I need to practice.
But–some interesting news about GRE scores! To come later.