From what I can tell, I’ll be lucky to score above 50% on the quantitative reasoning of the GRE, and probably can score about 75% on the verbal sections. As for the essays, as long as they don’t include a disputable word such as ‘nation’ that I can’t figure out why it bothers me in less than half an hour, I should be fine. I’ve done some practice tests and that’s what it works out to on average. And I haven’t tried to bother so much as I would in the real situation. I’m counting on that really paying off at test time.
It does strike me as a bit artificial to operate on a time limit. I hope the reasoning is not that people procrastinate. I do not do things at the last minute, just because I don’t always go all out on them always; I shut down a whole lot of time before the last minute and I stress out about things a whole lot earlier than everyone else. I hate being penalized for the procrastination of others more than anything. If that is the reason, I will blow a gasket right in the ETS testing center. What would suit me better would be: take as long as you can stand doing this, and if you can’t deal with the question, write something interesting about it instead using the random word ‘firehydrant’. That’s more of my idea of the GRE.
But I’m ready to get it out of my life. Whether that gets me anywhere, I don’t know. My aim is Westminster. What I managed to find out from talking to them is that they only care about the GRE slightly more than they care about feminism, which is promising. I might have a chance nevertheless at St. Louis U for next year, just because it seems a good chance that applications may not be quite as many as usual there this year. Other than that, there aren’t places that seem interesting, not that St. Louis U seems interesting: they have one of these eager-beaver PhD programs with diversity and crap. We white Anglo-Saxon male protestants realize that it is a world in which we’ll have to pay our way. I would not have it otherwise. I remember with admiration still the dude Solzhenitsyn met in the Gulag: never compromised, got worse treatment, derived palpable strength from his integrity. One has to have integrity and be strong, if for no other reason than to be able to write an indictment of the age.
That still leaves the overseas stuff that doesn’t even look at the GRE. That’s looking all the time more interesting. I just haven’t managed yet to find out how those programs work. Not that I’ve managed all that much about anything since all my time is taken up with this ridiculous . . . GRE.