Week 9: Studying for the GRE

In honor of my sister Grace, I am imposing a set of weekly challenges on myself. For 12 weeks, I will attempt a different “challenge” each week–to do one thing every day for seven days, ranging from serious to silly. At the end of each week, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cracking the GRE 2011, Princeton Review

In hindsight, perhaps this was a silly challenge. In the first chapter of my prep book, the authors tell you that it’s somewhat “useless” to try to study for the GRE for a period longer than six months. Seeing as I’m not even signing up to take the test any time soon, I might have wasted a week of challenges.

That said, however, I did learn a lot about this test that I didn’t previously know. For example, I had no idea that the test was computer adaptive (your next question will show up depending on how you answered the previous one). I didn’t know that the tests from August 2011 onward will allow you to use a calculator (yes!). I also didn’t know how surprisingly hard the vocabulary analogies are. No one uses these words. Henry James doesn’t even use them.

All in all, however, this week of “studying” with this prep book made me feel like I could take the GRE at some point and do decently well on it. So, that’s reassuring. What’s not reassuring is the fact that I don’t really know what I’d go to grad school for/think an English MA might not be worth the money. I still need to ponder these things.

Next week, I will be reminding myself that I once knew how to play the guitar!

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