View Full Version : Nov. test takers plz post ur experience

11-24-2005, 03:43 PM
Dear friends,

Those of you who have written their test on the nov. date please post your experience here. I'm writing the test on Dec. i'm very worried because my preparation is not so good and there is no way i can cancel it either, it's too late and even if i do the entire money will be a waste.
So what kind of questions did u have? what was the trend like. it would be very helpful fo rme and the others who are worrying so much if some of you could write abt ur experience. this is really a very difficult test. which period did they emphasise the most and the least this time? what about literary terms, theory, shakespeare, bible and greek mythology? plz help me do a little better! i need to score at least a 70% percentile. and i pray hard for all of you that you score well and get admission to the place of your choice.

12-11-2005, 09:01 PM
Here is a December comments...

Thanks everyone for comments, ideas and material. It helped.

On Saturday...the pacing working. I started out slow, but by the end of the second column of questions I sped up and kept up pace til the end, finishing with 5 minutes to spare. I looked over skipped sections and erased a few stray marks and was done.

Just happy I made it through without freaking out or zoning out. No just the wait for result. Better now in that is-what-it-is-state than the is-there-anything-else-I-can-cram-in-my-head" state.

12-12-2005, 08:41 AM
Congrats phinlit! You survived! :) Let us know how you did when you get the results.

11-05-2006, 12:29 PM
id like to offer some advice, some of which i think is offered elsewhere on this site:
(1) go through the test several times. my first pass through the test was in 30 minutes or less. doing this, answering just those questions that pop out, gives you a feel for the test, what types of questions you have left to answer. in my case, the questions on the the real test were of a much different type than i had encountered on the practice tests--passing through quickly allowed me to spot this difference early and adjust my approach accordingly; also, doing this helps you not to get bogged down. this method allowed me to be aware of those long questions at the end, my awareness allowing me to take my time on the second and third and other times around. in all, i think i looked over the test some four to six times, and i only felt rushed in the beginning (but that was only because it took a few minutes for my anxiety to give way to concentration).
(2) be prepared for a small desk. my desk was big enough to hold the bubble sheet-- that's it. by far, it was smaller than any desk i encountered in college (i took the test at another school, as i wanted no distractions of seeing people i knew). as i am left-handed, i would also mention to make sure you have requested the correct handed seating, as being forced to use right-handed seating (which some proctors might be strict about, my proctor was pretty strict (which is a good thing, i want my proctors to be strict)) can be discomfiting. so, because of the smallness of the desk, when i took the test i had to hold onto my spare pencils with one hand (because otherwise, they kept rolling toward the edge) and balance the booklet and write the answers with the other hand. as i was constantly flipping back and forth through the booklet, this was quite a task.
(3) wear comfortable clothing. perhaps, if you care about the people you know seeing you in "comfortable clothing" (which--- whatever), you might do as i did and take the test at a school other than your own.

11-10-2006, 02:56 PM
Hi, everyone! I survived the test, but it definitely was draining. At first, I felt horrible about it because of the questions that I didn't know the answer to- but then I thought about all the ones I *did* know, and felt better.

I didn't practice pacing enough...so I didn't finish all the questions - but I did do the "several pass" method and answered all the ones I knew the answers for. I did leave a chuck of them blank -- mostly only the ones that I had no clue about. I think Princeton Review wants us to guess and answer every question, because they consider there to be a 'guessing bonus' (in that we will get some of those wild guess ones correct, outweighing the guessing penalty from the quarter points lost by the ones we got wrong), but I just went ahead on my own instincts and left the "I have no clue" ones blank. We'll have to see how that turns out, when I get my score! I feel that I did decently enough to apply with my score, knowing that the other parts of the application do matter more.

Now I've got a ton to do...I still have to take the regular GRE (quickly) and get all the other parts of my applications ready. The deadlines are approaching! Is anyone else going nuts besides me? HEHE, I bet we all are, to some extent. I'm a notorious procrastinator, but I do seem to pull off feeling good about my end products.

11-11-2006, 03:22 PM
Dear Scraggle18,Thank you for posting your test experience. Could you please say a bit more on the emphasis and pattern of the questions in the test. It could be helpful for the December test takers.Hope you get your target score.All the best.Grassissinging

11-12-2006, 05:43 AM
Well, I was surprised about the lack of questions about Old and Middle English texts -- including The Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, Gawain and the Green Knight, Le Morte D'Arthur, etc. I expected more questions about these works! Maybe there will be more on the December exam, who knows??

There were more questions about theory and theorists than I expected. Several questions were either about Jacques Derrida or had him in the answer choices, so I'd brush up on him. There was a question about Edward Said and Orientalism. There were also a few questions about some "mirror" theory, that I had never heard of! I think it would be wise to look over the contemporary theories and theorists. I was rusty on them.

Hmmm...there was a series of questions regarding James Baldwin and his criticism of Richard Wright's Native Son, which the Princeton Review book helped me remember and get right on the test. There was also Allen Ginsburg's Howl, which was fun to read. There was a LOT of John Donne on the test, I think.

Does that help? There were, of course, things on the exam that I didn't recognize! I am terrible with questions about Shakespeare or the Bible....and there were those questions, which I am pretty sure I left blank. Heh.

Let me know if I can help more! The pattern of the questions was what I expected, based on the available practice exams. Some of the passages were long, but they had 6-7 questions after them, which made it usually worth reading the passage and stabbing at those questions....Beware of the long, unrecognizable passages that have only a few questions after them - those are good to skip and go back to at the end. :)

Hope this helps!! Best of luck to all. :):):)

11-13-2006, 09:29 AM
Dear Scraggle18,Thanks for your orientation. I have only 18 days left for studying for the December test ( if I can take it ). I am really worried because I got this strange e-mail from ets saying they are returning my money back since they could not schedule my test for December from a different country I have not even applied to take. Previously they sent me an e-mail confirmation , online confirmation number, test center date and time. I wrote to them several times ( thrice) saying that they have already sent me a confirmation and now this confusing mail rejecting my registration from a test center I didn't even apply!This must be a mistake. I am thinking of calling them to find out what went wrong. The American Center in my country is totally hopeless...they could do nothing to help me. I am worried if I can take the test at all...since the next date is in April and way long after the deadline...I will be badly effected if I can't take the test this year.Could you guys help? What should I do ? They are not sending me a reply...the confusing mail was sent to me on November 4th. And the confirmation was sent to me on October 10th. Well, I am in the same boat you are travelling. I haven't yet taken the general GRE. Hope to take it in the first week of January. What about you? I have worked a bit on my SOP but not the research paper. Let's pray for each other that everything gets done on time and for the best. Tired, confused and exhausted!Wish you all the best.

11-14-2006, 02:08 PM
Yikes! I would definitely call ETS. Did they actually return your money? If they did not actually give you any money back, I would assume you're still on for December, and the weird email was a mistake. If they did return your money, I'd be more worried...either way, definitely call ETS and ask.

Did you register online?

Best of luck with everything!!

11-16-2006, 04:04 PM
Dear Scraggle18,

Yes, I called the ETS. They are constantly calling my country India even over the phone...they think every country in South Asia is India! They made me wait for a very long time since they had to talk to their supervisor. They could not really clarify over the phone why they refunded my money so i hung up.

I applied online with my friend's credit card who lives in Austria. Eventually after making a number of phone calls to the American Center and the test center in my country I found out the actual reason. The November test was also cancelled and they did not notify the American Center and the information was not even updated in the online bulletin of ETS. So I have to travel to India for the next April test...and I lost a valuable year. I can't go for the Fall 2007 session since I will be missing the deadline for PhD applications in February ...need to wait for Fall 2008.

I wrote for a compensation to arrange the test for me sometime in January...of course they did not reply...they have those stupid electronic replies which promises to get back to you but never does. So here I am "waiting for godot"...who knows whether I can really get admission in the Fall 2008 session?