Sunday, October 31, 2010
Grossest Ripoff Ever
I don't even want to tell you how long I spent making flash cards to study for the GRE. It seems that the bulk of my studying will be vocabulary. Since there is no way for me to learn all 3,500 words from the super vocabulary list in my study book in a month, I decided to just make flash cards for the 333 "GRE High-Frequency Words" list.
I know that the GRE is a scam because of the sample questions in my study book. Here is an example of one of these questions. You're supposed to choose the correct antonym to the word in capital letters.
(B) be upright
(C) lie flat
(D) fall forward
(E) veer from side to side
Obviously, the answer is B. Because "list" has a secondary meaning. According to the book, "When it lists to starboard, a ship simply leans to one side or tilts."
Oh good. I guess that "Maritime Terminology" class I took will finally come in handy. How am I supposed to know this stuff? The GRE also has questions with words from all kinds of random sciences and special fields of study. What kind of undergraduate degree do these test makers think I got? A B.A. in Everything? A B.A. in Random Terminology? The list question might not seem that ridiculous to you, but there was also a sample question that made use of the secondary meaning of the word nice, which is just stupid.
I appreciate that the writers of the book are at least being honest with me. They don`t pretend that the test isn`t ridiculously hard.
If I hadn`t bothered to buy this book off the Internet, I would not do well on the GRE at all. I don`t think the majority of people who have an undergraduate degree would do well on it without the help of at least one study book. That is why this test is a scam. If it were really testing me on knowledge that I gained from college, then why would I have to cram for an entire month just to pass the verbal part? Why isn`t my college diploma enough for a graduate school to accept me?
I don`t think that I should be punished for not knowing the opposite of perfidy or what the hell philately is. I can write papers and do basic math. There will never be a situation in my life in which I can`t use a dictionary to help me figure out the meaning of a difficult word. They even allow dictionaries in prison. And I will probably never use the word loquacious in a sentence.
At least the SAT only cost $30. The GRE is almost $200, and if you screw up at all when you sign in for the test, they can turn you away and not refund your registration fee.
So I have decided not to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year. I am sad about it, but I know that it will only cause me more stress if I tried to do that and prepare for this test from hell. I know that my GRE score won`t matter nearly as much as my writing sample for getting into an MFA program, but I`m not paying $200 to do awful. I won`t give the testmakers that satisfaction.