Tag Archives: subject test

The Wait Is Over

Not like I was really holding my breath, but I’ve been wondering how my Subject GRE for Literature in English turned out. Kind of obsessively checking the mailbox since Saturday, when I realized the scores had been “sent” to Drake.

Score: 530
% Below: 44
Correct: 124, Incorrect: 53, Unanswered: 53
Formula Score: 111

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what any of that actually means. It’s not good, though. Scores range from 200-990. Most schools I was interested in want a 600. The average score is 541.

I feel very mediocre. Below average. Unimpressive. Just another kid avoiding the real world through advanced education.

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Literary Letdown

I thought I could have studied more; taken the subject GRE more seriously. Not awfully unprepared, but, you know, just not exactly ready for it.


There was no “ready” for this. No amount of studying could have prepared me. That test was probably the biggest waste of time, money and effort. I don’t think more than two “must know” pieces of information were on there: The Canterbury Tales and Beowulf. Not one notecard written in a subtle shade of you-better-fucking-know-this red was there. No winged chariot,  widening gyre, passionate shepherd or a drop of water, anywhere! Instead, I got a fucked up ghost story, an obscure quote from a gay dead author, and a racist basketball. And one Restoration Comedy.

Yeah, some stuff I studied was on there, but I didn’t answer one-fourth to one-third of the questions. That’s somewhere around 60 questions. Poor time management was troublesome, but I didn’t even recognize an alarming number of authors or works listed. I would only be less ready if I had attempted open-heart surgery for those three hours instead.

Being told to put my No.2 pencil down was an anxiety-ridden moment indeed.

But hey, it’s done. I survived, Sarah survived, and we had a blast at The Full Monty in Minnesota. Plus this epic failure eliminates the number of schools I plan to apply to. Sweet. More money to celebrate my academic anticlimax.

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Get It

This time tomorrow I will finishing my road trip to Minnesota to see a production of The Full Monty.

But there’s still a lot that’s got to happen before that. Number one being shaking off the sleepiness in my hands. Last night  I sliced myself nine times with a box-cutter and pulled down a really heavy bark-wrapped mirror from stock–which only landed safely on the ground because I used my body as a landing pad. The latter is what I think did my hand in. My good old right hand, which I will be using non-stop  for three hours tomorrow morning, is a bit on the slow side. The nice padded part on my palm, under my thumb, is swollen and sore. I feel like I have arthritis. Even typing is hard. I don’t know anything about injuries, so I’ve just been icing the bugger off and on while I scan Sparknotes.

Sparknotes is another thing that has to get done by tomorrow… preferably in the next hour. I recently realized part of my problem memorizing characters and authors is that I have no plot to connect them together. Ergo (“therefore!” for any Burchard students out there) I started my day with Sparknotes plot summaries. Why, oh why, didn’t I think of this sooner? Well, probably because I’ve been too busy blowing off studying for better options like sleep or the movie Heavy Metal. But still, maybe Sparknotes can be my saving grace.

I also need to successfully navigate to Ames, our hotel, Carver Hall, and Whitney’s apartment before I can dream of seeing the show. I’m crossing my fingers that, although I am directionally challenged, Sarah will keep me sane.

Finally, there is that little matter of the GRE subject test on Literature in English. Yesterday morning I entered the state of panic and it proceeded through the wee hours of the night. Now, I’m nervous, scared, and just plain tired. I could have done more, but I didn’t. So what? If I’m worth anything at all, I’ll get into school without this test.

While I’m not ready for the test, I’m SO ready for all this crap to be over with. And tomorrow, sometime after noon, it will be. I’ll take that.

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Ghoul School

Two Weeks. I am terrified of the subject GRE. Notice: terrified of and not terrified for. In all honesty, I’m slacking and it’s because I have other things to do, better things and more fun things to do, and because the test is fucking insane. No person with my undergraduate education could ever entertain the slightest hope of nailing the test. And I just now, for the first time, am reading the strategy and practice test book. Did you know you get negative points for answering a question wrong? Can I earn a negative score? Shit.

But despite my general unease, 16 questions into my first practice test (an out-of-control 230 multiple choice doozies) I found a question I knew without hesitation—before I even read the answer options. So not ready for both knowing the answer, and how excited I was by it.

Reading Dracula for fun in the seventh grade paid off. Fangtastic.

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Road Blocks

Graduating college in a shitty economy isn’t exactly conducive to the dreams I had when I graduated high school. But I decided to roll with the punches and apply to grad school. A legitimate choice, if not feeling a bit like I’m stalling. But my plans are slowly being foiled. Upon applying for the GRE general and GRE subject, I found out I can’t take the subject until testing opens again–in 2010. If you follow my problem, this means I can’t apply for 2010 enrollment. Which places me three years of out undergrad, and 25 years of age before I can get into grad school. Sure, this gives me the chance to thoroughly learn French. BUT STILL. 2011? That means I might be in the class of 2016. I will be so old. I should effing have a job and a life at that point. I shouldn’t even be getting a Masters. Might as well go for a Doctorate. So I can be Dr. Old-Cat-Lady.

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