Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Saturday, 9 December 2006

Totally Lacking in Humility

I gotta say, I rocked on the essay portion. I was pulling in quotes and personal experiences and specific scientific examples and theory left and right. We'll have to see how it turns out and whether or not the graders agree, but I feel much better about it than I did the Biology GRE.

All General GREs in the U.S. are now computerized; the Subject test is still not. (However, there has been quite a bit of controversy lately because the General GRE still lacks a paper trail.) This means that, after answering a question, you can't go back, as every question is presented depending on how you did on the previous: If you answer correctly, you get a harder question; if you answer incorrectly, you get an easier one. Kind of a nice positive feedback loop. Although they also take into account that there are certain subjects that need to be covered, so it's not a guarantee that, if you come across a really easy question, the previous question was answered incorrectly. So, I have no idea how they determine the rubric, but somehow the test is personalized for every test-taker. And, you get to see your Verbal/Math scores as soon as you finish the test.

I got 710/590. Wasn't sure what that meant till I got home. It looks like, if past years are any indication, the Verbal is good, which is surprising, as I didn't finish, and had to randomly guess the last few questions. In fact, other than reading the instructions ahead of time, I didn't do any studying for the Verbal. And it was hard! There were a number of words there that I'd never heard of, and I had to guess the meaning based on the root. The Math score is average, despite extensively studying that aspect. Of course, evidently you have to know how to determine standard deviation in your head, among other things. Why even have calculators then? But I've learned my lesson. Studying for the GRE is a bad idea. You do much better if you don't.

If you want to read more about biology, well, I've realized that the diversity of my readers may not be equally interested in everything I post. So I've moved the World Science commentaries to a separate blog, at Imagine...A Complex Creation. Please feel free to leave your thoughts there.

2 comments:

quaintance said...

No Logic section?

These look similar, I think, to what I had, but perhaps flip-flopped. Logic was my strength.

@bdul muHib said...

I'm not sure. The sections now are Quantitative, which is a fancy word for math; Verbal; Essay, in which you choose from one of two topics; and Analytical, in which you analyze a short argument with evidence for loopholes and errors in logic. I included that in the Essay portion in my initial post, but I think I did okay on that- it's just a little hard to tell until I hear back from them if I caught everything they're thinking of.