folks, it’s post-gre time and i’m loving it! i’m still a little beside myself but i can tell from my stats that more than one person is eager to know how it went so you’ll get the exclusive story tonight. as in now. NOW! read on!
but first off, thank you for your support! it’s been long four months!
i woke up several times last night and i could tell instantly that i was being nervous. i had trouble falling back asleep so when eventually it was my time to get up i didn’t feel all that rested and super awake as i wanted to be. the longer i was awake the more i noticed my nervousness so i decided to take one of my “calm-down pills”. it’s no drugs, it’s not even something that i think truly works if you don’t believe in it. it’s just a mix of valerian, hop, and some other natural stuff. this stuff is so “powerful” that one was sufficient to calm me down enough but not yet make me drowsy. taking a test and being drowsy is a big no-no obviously.
the test was scheduled to start at 1:30pm so i left by train in the morning to make sure i had enough time to actually travel to berlin, find the test center, and be all calm and relaxed when it would be my time to start the gre. all of this “getting there early” resulted in me being at the test center at noon. bummer. so i asked at the front desk if it would be possible to start the test earlier. they said i could but then i freaked out and said “ok, but now i need more time” and left again. stupid, i know.
so i sat in the lobby and contemplated my existence and eventually realized that waiting isn’t helping me a bit. so i did my oohm-shanti boom-chakka mental power thing aka “get your act together, you won’t die taking the test, just get this over with, don’t be a sissy, don’t you dare forget about probabilities!”.
i rang the bell to the test center again and thankfully the staff member greeted me with an open funny smirk and not with an annoyed look. i had to sign some papers, went through the check-in procedures, peed one last time (very important in a timed test that only has one scheduled 10 minute break after 1 hour 45 minutes!), emptied my pockets for one final check and then entered the test room.
you probably don’t know this but the complete test center is equipped with video surveillance. the actual test room is more or less sound proof, there are video cameras in all four corners and the individual test computers are separated by cubicle walls. you are not allowed to bring into the room anything besides your ID and the locker key. not even tissues. scratch paper, pencils, tissues and even ear plugs were provided. once you’re seated the operator starts the test and you’re good to go.
in the first two sections i had to write an essay. for confidentiality reasons i can’t go into the prompts i was given to write about but they were general enough for me to come up with two essays of five paragraphs each. that was the easy part. after the essays is when the real test starts. there are two verbal sections requiring you to show of your knowledge of rather random, hardly ever used vocabulary, and two quantitative sections requiring you to show how much of 10th grade math you remember. in addition, there is one section that is being used to try new test questions but because you don’t know which of the five sections is the trial one you have to do your best on all of them. each of these sections is 30 or 35 minutes long and contains 20 questions. even if you’re not good at math you can tell that that’s not a whole lot of time for each question.
first section i got was verbal and that went ok. after that i had my only break (10 minutes) and i used that to eat, drink, pee, motivate myself, rest my eyes, and i tried not to freak. back on my chair i started the next section – math, oh boy. i felt ok but there were definitely some questions that i had no clue about what i was doing. next up another verbal section which felt very easy (and that got me wondering how terrible i must have done before because the test is adaptive and easy questions mean lower level overall). obviously, it’s not healthy to start thinking these thoughts but come on, i’m only human. next up math again – weird but better than the first time around, and one final verbal section. this one was more difficult than the second one so i started to wonder if the middle one was the trial section. again, not healthy to think about trial or not.
whatever, eventually after over four hours i was done. done with the questions and done mentally. but that’s not the final clicks you have to make. you have to decide if you actually want to report your score (and see the result) or cancel it. obviously, after such a long time of preparation and frustration i wanted to know how i did.
the test scoring was recently changed, from 1600 overall – 800 for quant and verbal each to 170 maximum per section. so there i was, making my final clicks, confirming that yes, i want to see my scores. and confirming that yes, i really do want to see my scores and my previous click was indeed correct. so i made that click and didn’t believe my eyes. i actually had 161 verbal and 152 quant. 161!!! holy sh!t this looks darn awesome and though i have to wait on the official score report i actually left about 89% of test takers behind me. it was my goal to get 155 in each section so overall i achieved my goal.
i called a few special people, finally had lunch and went back to the train station still in a daze. i’m still baffled. 161!
i truly hope that this score helps me to do what i want to do (more on that later this year or early next year). now i just want my life back, meet friends, enjoy my free time!
thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support, your messages, and your positive thoughts. it truly helped! wow, i still can’t believe it.