la joie de vivre

From California to Lyon, France: living & studying abroad…and coming back!


Since I’m going to be applying to graduate programs, I’ll be taking the GRE (the Graduate Record Examinations), very, very soon.

The math on it is stuff that I learned back in junior high school, so when I’m doing my practice tests, I keep having weird flashbacks of doing my homework in front of the TV watching Ellen DeGeneres with the hopes of making it a little more fun!

…Because when doesn’t Ellen brighten up a day?

The thing is with the GRE, unlike the SAT/ACT, schools use it like a threshold. If you have a good enough score and a good enough GPA (usually at least 3.5 for many psychology PhD programs), then you can get seriously considered and have your personal statement and other documentation read. The SAT is kind of like a threshold test for undergraduates, but the thresholds tend to be A LOT more varied across different universities.

The GRE is a 4.5 hour test: there are 2 essay questions, 1 (or 2) verbal sections, and 1 (or 2) math sections. It’s the longest test that I’ve had to take, I think, ever – it’s like having your brain running a mental marathon of problem-solving.

Each essay is scored out of 6 points, and the verbal and math sections are scored out of 700 points. The weird thing is that this computerized test is adaptive, so as you’re taking the test by answering questions, the computer calculates how hard the next question should be.
I don’t think I’ve taken an adaptive test since elementary school when they were testing my little 8-year old brain’s vocabulary. It’s just another hurdle to jump, and I hope it goes well.


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This entry was posted on September 3, 2012 by in General.
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