Tomorrow, I'll be taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). On the one hand, I feel quite unprepared; I didn't do flashcards nearly enough, and I'm still tripping over myself in the math every so often. On the other hand, no only am I a total badass when it comes to standardized testing (90th+ precentiles on the SAT), and I'm 95% sure that the Barron's book I have is a piece of shit. Let's compare:
- The Princeton Review book I had was clearly organized. It discussed, in accessible language, the way that the test works, how to use the test's structure and scoring to your advantage, and how to best study for the test. The techniques it taught were helpful and easy to remember. Tonight, I'm going to take the second computer test that came with the book.
- The Barron's book was disorganized. The language was much too terse for me to really get anything out of it. The strategies were called "tactics," were numbered instead of named, and were too numerous to actually remember for use on test day (it's easier to remember a multi-step method than it is to remember multiple tactics). Many of the practice questions, including those in the model tests, did not seem like question that would be on the actual test. Some of the math questions either lacked the correct answer choice, or had the correct choice printed twice. The math section was especially mind-bogglingly unhelpful, with too much content and too many "tactics."
So, I'm going to take the second Princeton Review test tonight and see how it goes. I have a feeling it'll go better than anything from Barron's. And while I do appreciate a challenge, especially since complacency is a bad idea, the Barron's book was just unhelpful in addition to frustrating as hell.
We'll have to see how it goes. I'm looking forward to it being over because I'm sort of tired of studying. Today, I'm not studying (just the practice test tonight), so I got to read Possession on the train this morning (yay!).