8.23.2007

Slope! And other GRE Fun Facts

So far GRE studying has been going well. There are two main reasons for this:

1. I have been completely ignoring time limits.
2. I have been very nonchalantly verifying my answers ("oh hmm, yeah, wow, that one was way off! ha!")

Last night I decided to buckle down and set some time limits. It goes without saying that the math and verbal sections that I tackled under these conditions were the hardest I've encountered so far. My results on last night's exercises would put me somewhere in the academic range of "i do good at skool" and "decimals are decorative!" In the midst of the problem solving section, I was bitch-slapped by standard deviation and kicked in the gut by percentages. And then, a tiny graph appeared, one that asked for the slope of the line.

Like an almighty force rushing out through every pore of my being, slope screamed out "CHANGE IN Y OVER CHANGE IN X!" and the explanation from my 10th grade Math teacher echoed close behind "rise over run... you would need to get out of bed before you run away!"

Perhaps my hypochondria stems from an education based on ways to flee one's bed, even while in Math class. But I digress.

Important lessons were learned in the verbal section as well. I am now particularly well-informed about why black slaves ended up preserving tradition better than their white owners (they kept strict records about their kin and therefore never married their cousins... the inbreeding hypothesis might explain what the hell is so wrong with the Bush family) and why Virginia Woolf was so impressed by Chaucer (he didn't outwardly moralize but asked his reader to come to his own moral judgements). Look at all I've retained 24 hours later! And yet, one might ask, why did I only get 5/10 correct last night?

The more I study for this damn test, the more annoyed I get. This is not because I don't like studying the math because I am actually having an okay time wondering down memory lane, reconnecting synapses that have been road blocked since the AP Pre-Calc disaster of '99. It's more the idea that someone like myself, who is not interested in pursuing geometry or antonyms in graduate school, would need to prove something by this lop-sided excuse for a measuring device.

If there is any advice I can offer to those considering taking the mighty GRE, I'd suggest taking it while the iron is hot. Word on the street is they're changing the format to something longer and more focused on the math section, two elements that can only add to the GRE Marketing departments' sleepless nights.

2 comments:

michael said...

HAHAH!! LOVE THIS LOVE THIS. Glad to read these sentiments are shared; 5/10 can be daunting, I know the feeling.

this is fairly helpful: http://www.wtamu.edu/academic/anns/mps/math/mathlab/gre/math_help.htm#ba23

nancy john said...

Good information about GRE it is very useful for students

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