Apparently, the GRE and Fight Club share the same rule-makers, as the first rule about the GRE is that you don’t talk about the GRE. You are made to sign roughly 15 things, in cursive, to that effect.
So I’m going to tip-toe around any specifics and just say this: the math section is interesting, while the language section is utter crap.
The math section is interesting because it requires a bit of lateral thinking and problem solving above and beyond simplistic problems. There were a number of times where a problem looked insanely difficult, but there was some trapdoor to it that let you get the answer quickly. I have to think that people who aren’t comfortable with math would have a nervous breakdown when faced with some of the questions, so now I understand why people study so hard for it.
If I had one piece of advice for people worried about the math section it would be this: take the 10-15 seconds to copy down any diagrams or equations onto your scrap paper, then fill in any parts that seem to be missing. There are enough trick questions that it’s worth the effort.
Did I mention that the language section is crap?
I consider myself an above-average person when it comes to literacy, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. And yet, even I could recognize that the language section was well above and beyond what would be considered a normal level, even a graduate level. No one I know, even the people with post-grad educations, uses the words in the language section of the test. Not even lawyers. It’s less of a test of skill and ability, and more of a test of trivia.
The reading comprehension questions weren’t too bad, but there was a huge range of difficulty. Some were as easy as finding some verbatim quote, while others asked that you make fine-grained distinctions about inferences of what the author thought the subject wouldn’t think about something not in the selection. Yeah, really.
The writing portions? Eh. I spend enough time writing that they didn’t bug me.
I briefly saw the scores for the computerized tests, 650 and 710, but I’m not sure which was which. I’m inclined to believe that the 650 was on the math section, as I didn’t finish in time for the last two questions. Since the score is from 200 to 800 for each, that’s an 80% average. Not bad for going into it completely cold. I’m supposed to get the official results in the next two weeks.
If UCF wants something higher than a 1360 then I’ll take it again. Now that I know what to expect I know I could probably do 1400+ without any studying. Until then … I just cant muster the concern to care. It’s just one more test.