Well, it’s been a long week so far. I’m still getting over the cold that knocked me out last week, and this week has not been very gentle.
Over the weekend I tried to reschedule my onsite practice test for the GMAT–the “Ultimate Practice Test” I get as a Kaplan customer–but ran into problems with the system run by Pearson, the company that administers the GMAT. I got everything cleared up during a phone call with Pearson on Monday, but by that time there was only one practice test space left before my actual test next week: Tuesday afternoon. I crammed Monday night to shake off some of the test cobwebs–I pretty much stopped studying on a regular basis when I headed to SXSW–and went in about as well-prepared as I could under the circumstances.
For those who haven’t taken the GMAT or a similar test through Pearson, the environment is not the most comfortable. Testers sit in small, wall-facing cubes with partitions between each computer. A Pearson employee sits behind a glass window watching those being tested at all times, and every visitor is videotaped for the entire duration of their stay. If you want to get up, you need to raise your hand to be escorted in and out of the room, and when entering and exiting you need to have your index finger scanned. The testing facility I visited on Tuesday featured bad lighting, a flickering monitor and a dreadfully uncomfortable (and generally unadjustable) chair.
I was able to handle all of that, but what really threw me off was the test fed to me by Kaplan. When you go through their program, you’re fed eight different practice tests, including the onsite test. You’re not supposed to get the same test more than once, but that’s exactly what happened to me on the verbal portion, and it was completely and totally distracting. Despite my best efforts, I found it next to impossible to concentrate on the testing approaches I’d been taught in their program, and instead found myself trying to remember how I’d answered the questions the previous time around. In all, I’d probably previously seen 2/3 of the verbal questions fed to me at Pearson.
It’s disappointing, but I guess I just have to live with it. I have a lot of studying to do the rest of this week, and then on Monday it’s test time for the actual test.
Carlson applications have to be in before the end of April. St. Thomas applications have to be in by the end of May. No rest for the weary.
In other news, Lisa got a new pig–Sigrid seemed lonely after Ling had to be put down–and I got a new camera, which I hope will be well-suited for the tens of thousands of baby photos I’m sure I’ll be taking in a few months.
I’m exhausted. I can’t wait for the weekend.