Tonight is my last final for 2006 and it will be in microeconomics. I know people, thrilling stuff!
But it got me thinking about how last year I was getting ready to take the GMAT for the 2nd time. I hated the GMAT, hell I hated the SATs, the PSATs and the Co-op ( a test we Catholic school kids had to take to get into the Catholic high school of our choice in NY state!) Basically any standardized tests suck. I mean how does determining the area of a cylinder equate to how smart you are?
Just to take the GMAT is an ordeal, you have to sign in and prove without a shadow of a doubt you are the person who signed up for the test. You have to present all this paperwork and id. Then they call you one by one and you sit and wait for the facilitator to be ready for you. Other than being stripped searched you are given two pencils. scratch paper, your id scrutinized and your photo digitally taken to match up. then you are placed in this mini cube and the test begins.
The GMAT is timed test which consists of three parts: essay, quantitative (math) and qualitative (reading comprehension, grammar skills and sentence correction). The essay portion required you to write two essays one disputing or supporting a given statement and the other where you support and state your opinion. Then after a 5 minute break (also timed) and the mandatory spring from the bathroom to sign in, you start the math portion. It is 35 questions of many "basic" math skills but the test is designed to push you. See the test starts out with a "medium" question, if you get it right the next question is progressively "harder" likewise if you get it wrong, the next question is "easier". Basically if you get the question: 1 +1 = ? you know at that point that you might as well just pack it up and get on the special bus home. Oh and because it is computerized, you can't go back and change an answer, once you hit next it is gone for good and the next question pops up. Also there are two types of questions the straight up multiple choice and the which is the better answer to the question. It states a problem ie XY=25 then it gives you a-X=5, b-Y=5. then you have to choose which of the two is the best answer tot he problem or if a and b or b and a or neither? It so messes with your head.
Then after the other 5 minute break you start the qualitative part. This part, in my opinion, is so much easier. It has reading comprehension and sentence and grammar correction. But again as you answer the previous question the difficulty level of the next question is determined and so it goes for 38 questions.
Then after all is said and done...you are asked the question , do you want to see the score? If yes you get your score (except it is not official as the essay part has not been graded) if no then the computer CANCELS the score and you never ever see it. So that is your choice...the lady or the tiger.
You get to experience all of this for $250.00 per test!
Basically what I am saying is thank God for microeconomics!