Sunday, September 6, 2015


In addition to moving this summer, I've had the GRE looming over my head. I'd signed up back in December to take it, long before we even thought of moving. I was expecting a fairly calm summer, in which I could intersperse studying with fun activities with the kids.

I started studying as soon as I got back from Grandmother's funeral. The result being that I have yet to finish the newest season of Orange is the New Black. Studying got put on hold for a while here and there as I had to deal with closing stuff and packing and moving. It's been 13 years since I did math, so while others apparently all do awesome on the math section, I was very stressed about it. I'm good at math, but if I don't use it I definitely forget all the little rules. And geometry has never been my favorite. Thankfully most stuff comes back pretty quickly. I centered all my studying around the math section, figuring I'd be fine on the verbal and hopefully on the writing as well.

This past week was crunch time. I took several practice tests and, while not thrilled with my scores on the math sections (ugh, my speed math is super rusty!), they were good enough. I felt much calmer about it all after looking up the requisite scores for my program and realizing that at least my practice scores were well above what is required.

Yesterday afternoon I headed to the testing center. I've never taken a standardized test on computer before (except for a couple practice tests for this), so that was new. But not a big deal. Once I was done with the writing section and had moved on to verbal, I made use of the headphones they provided because trying to concentrate with several other people still typing away in the background was difficult. Guess I should've let Gareth play with Legos in the same room as me while I was doing practice tests! I felt okay after the first half. The verbal stuff wasn't bad at all. A few words I didn't know, but felt like I could make educated guesses about. And I usually finished those sections early. The first math section wasn't even all that bad. A couple I didn't know, but I did finish the section with time to review a couple answers. I was not happy at all after the second math section because I ran out of time and had to just pick an answer for several questions - annoying because some of them I was sure I could do if only I had more time! I was glad that my extra section was verbal, because I was exhausted and upset with myself by the end of the second math section, and if I'd been thrown a third math section I wouldn't have been happy at all. But a third verbal section wasn't a big deal and I was able to breeze through it, finishing with almost half the time left.

I reported my scores and was shocked to see the math score. After the second math section I was expecting the score to be really low. But it was higher than my practice tests had been - not as good as my high-achieving self would normally like, but hopefully plenty good enough. Considering how long it's been since I took a math class and how spotty my studying was with everything else going on this summer, I feel pretty good to have done so well. And the verbal score was excellent as well. Granted, they're "unofficial", but as long as the writing went well I think it's safe to say the GRE is behind me. I drove home, grabbed some food, and headed back out for a clarinet choir rehearsal. I'm excited that I get to have a few weeks without that looming over my head before classes start up and I start stressing about the rest of the application.


Myrna said...

So happy to hear that the GRE went pretty well, and that it is OVER! Good for you!

Nancy said...

Oh, me, too! Just thinking about going back to school has me biting my nails—because of the GRE!—and I'm not even planning on going back for a few years yet...

Good on you for taking it and getting a score you're pleased with!

Susan said...

Glad it went well!

Momof8 said...

So proud of you, Erin!