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fandomqueen Offline
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Just a Rant about the GRE - August 26th 2019, 10:30 PM

Hello! Disclaimer, I'm taking the GRE tomorrow so if I sound like a whiny child that might be the stress speaking

Let me just say since the first time I had to take the MEAP in the 3rd grade(a standardized test we used to have to take in Michigan), I've hated standardized tests. Evaluating reading comprehension through multiple choice questions?? I understand that sometimes there is a "correct" answer but a lot of questions could honestly be argued multiple ways and the "explanations" offered generally aren't sufficient to explain why another answer is wrong, at least to me. Exams like the GRE and SAT and ACT are often about learning how to take the test and nothing else. You could be a physics mastermind with Nobel prize and fail the GRE.

My strengths lie more in math and science (hence why I am going to Physical Therapy school) and yet I need to take a test that is 70% english to prove my worth? I understand the value of a broad vocabulary but the sentences the GRE uses to test vocabulary are often convoluted and when presented with THREE blanks, one simple mistake leads to a completely incorrect answer. Is it that hard to give partial credit if you get 2/3 correct??

Don't even get me started on the essay. An opinion essay? Really? They expect three strong, specific examples and yet present topics that not everyone might be an expert in. For someone who does not remember any of AP World History and with limited knowledge of the business side of things, I will be royally screwed if I get a question regarding those topics. On the other hand, someone majoring in business would probably feel the same way about a question geared more towards people with a science background. Having an option of two topics would greatly reduce this stress. I would be able to choose the topic I am more confident in and perform a lot better.

Bottom line, standardized testing sucks. Everyone has different skills, and if taking tests is not one of yours, then you are simply screwed, no matter how intelligent you may be. Testing, especially through multiple choice, is honestly the worst way to measure a student's knowledge and abilities. A simple error in addition could cost an entire question despite the fact that all other calculations were correct. I am decent at math, and yet lose points when I simply forget one small detail. It would be better to have partial points, though grading would be a nightmare.

Times like these I wish I lived somewhere like Finland, where the education systems seem to understand that students have different strengths and standardized tests are not a huge part of determining your future.
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Kate* Offline
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Re: Just a Rant about the GRE - August 26th 2019, 10:47 PM

This is why I chose a program that didn't require the GRE if your GPA was high enough which mine was. I ended up not finishing due to a then undiagnosed disability, but there's no way to know if the GRE would've predicted that happening if I'd taken it. And when I interviewed with them, I brought that up. I appreciated that the decisions weren't based only off of a standardized test because they don't tell you very much.

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Celyn Offline
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Re: Just a Rant about the GRE - September 1st 2019, 08:53 PM

I'm not in the same education system as you, but I also believe that standardised testing isn't good.

I remember when I was in school and we changed examining bodies. Everyone thought it was easier now that we had multiple choice but I found it harder as I can overthink things a lot. A lot of the time when it came to exams, I felt like I was trying to learn the appropriate answers rather than actually understanding the material. Also, I believe that we all learn differently and have different areas of strengths and weaknesses that the education system doesn't take into consideration. I'm a big fan of vocational learning but this is often looked down upon in favour of traditional academic subjects.

Anyway, you didn't sound like a whiny child and it makes sense you would've been stressed. I hope the GRE went well for you

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