I took the GRE for the second time today. I’ll admit I didn’t stick to my studying plan, which might have made a difference in my scores. Well, honestly, I think I might have been able to improve my Quant score with studying, but Verbal is a tough one to crack, especially with ADHD and the time limit.
So I took the GRE in 2005 and got 520v and 580q (4.5 AWA). I had to retake because those scores were old and the program I want to apply to wants scores within the last 2 years. Today, I took the test again and got 470v and 580q (guessing similar AWA). Ugh.
I just get so frustrated taking timed tests. I can’t focus, especially on the comprehension section. If the test was done on paper I’d do better, but for some reason the font they use on the screen just doesn’t work for my eyes. I can spend so much time reading an article and realize I don’t remember one thing I just read. Unfortunately, ETS doesn’t make it easy to get any sort of accommodations for people with ADHD or LDs, which I’m starting to think I have (I was diagnosed ADHD in elementary school, but I honestly think I might be dyslexic or something. My sister is, and if it’s genetic, it would explain a lot about my problems with concentration and reading.)
I’m not totally depressed about my scores, though. I’m leaning towards wanting to go to business school, which means I still have the GMATs in front of me. The GMATs are supposed to be a harder test, but if they test reasoning more than vocab, I’ll likely do better.
I hate the stupid argument essay topics on the GRE. I’m not good at picking a side on an issue that I don’t have a strong opinion on. For instance, the essay question (which is available on the ETS website — I’m not allowed to reveal test questions, but since this is already public information…) was about whether people should pursue scholarship or research that doesn’t contribute to society. Uhmm… so I kind of blanked. I couldn’t think of anything someone would research that wouldn’t contribute to society, even if that contribution was indirect. I ended up writing about that, which I’m sure was not what they wanted. Then my analyze an argument essay was rock solid… I’m good at finding flaws and explaining them (or so I’d like to think, I’ll see what my scores are in a few weeks).
After the writing section, I went through the verbal section. I started getting easier words fairly early on, so I assume I got all of the first few questions wrong. Even with the easier words, I felt lost. I am just not good at analogies, EVEN WHEN I KNOW THE WORDS.
This… from a girl who got a 1230 on her SAT back in the day. My intellect has all but depleted.
I hate how the verbal section skips around from one question type to another, and then back. Just when my brain is getting comfortable with analogies it will be time to do a comprehension section, then back to analogies, then opposites of a word (which there were a lot of) and so on.
The math section would have been easier had I prepared more. I’m not sure how I managed to get the same exact score I got last time (580) but in any case, that’s not a good Quant score. I also ran out of time so filled in random bubbles for the last 6 or so questions (of 28) today. That probably didn’t help much, although maybe I am better at guessing than actually solving the problems.
This all leads me to ask… should I even apply to grad school? I know I struggle with academics, so why should I put myself through all of that? Even in an MBA program I’m going to have a tough time. Yet, looking at my career, I feel like I need to do something to go from where I’m at to where I want to be, and that something is looking more and more like “grad school” every single day.
I guess I want to know if I’m just unintelligent or if I actually have learning disorders. I used to test well early in my life, but not so much anymore. Like, I’d be ok if someone could just test me and tell me I’m dumb. I’ll quit my job and go work as a waitress or something. Maybe I’d be happier. But part of me thinks that underneath all the confusion in my brain lies someone with really strong reasoning skills and even a slightly above-average level of intelligence. I just don’t know how to prove that to anyone, or how to make use of it.