May Contain Blueberries

the sometimes journal of Jeremy Beker


I’m still alive. It was not exactly the most pleasant experience I have ever had, but it is over now.

I needed to be there by 8:30am. I got there at a little after 7:00am. I am so paranoid. I sat in my car and watched people drop their movies off at the Blockbuster next door while I listened to NPR and read some last topics in my GRE prep book. Other (normal) people started showing up around 8:00am.

At 8:15, I went inside. After handing over my id, I was handed a sheet of paper with a paragraph I had to write out affirming I wouldn’t do anything bad. Highlighted above the blank space was DO NOT PRINT. Shit. I haven’t written cursive in years, and it showed. Oh well, at least that part wasn’t graded.

I now have some understanding what it might be like to be in a secure facility. I was instructed to leave everything (keys, wallets, phones, tissues, everything) in a locker outside the testing area. The woman behind the glass window then told me to come through the door and sit in the black chair to wait my turn to be “processed.” After the person in front of me was done, I got to move to the pink chair. There I got to have my information verified, my picture taken, and then I got to sign in.

The test area was behind yet another door. Every desk was monitored by video and shows up on a screen out in the room I was “processed” in. It was like being in an observation room. I got computer #1. The proctor signed me in and I went through the instruction section on how to use a mouse, click buttons, and scroll. Very enlightening

The essay section was first. 45 minutes to argue for or against a statement. I had two choices to pick from. The one I selected was:

The human mind will always be superior to machines because machines are only tools of human minds.

I choose to argue against that statement. I used up most of the 45 minutes writing, but I wasn’t rushed.

The next essay was 30 minutes to critique an argument. The question I got was:

The following is a recommendation from the personnel director to the president of Acme Publishing Company.

“Many other companies have recently stated that having their employees take the Easy Read Speed-Reading Course has greatly improved productivity. One graduate of the course was able to read a five-hundred-page report in only two hours; another graduate rose from an assistant manager to vice president of the company in under a year. Obviously, the faster you can read, the more information you can absorb in a single workday. Moreover, Easy Read costs only $500 per employee - a small price to pay when you consider the benefits to Acme. Included in this fee is a three-week seminar in Spruce City and a lifelong subscription to the Easy Read newsletter. Clearly, Acme would benefit greatly by requiring all of our employees to take the Easy Read course.”

This was rather straightforward as well. I got a 10 minute break after this section.

Next were the multiple choice sections. I ended up getting 2 quantitative sections and 1 verbal section. 1 of the quantitative sections was an experimental section, although I don’t know which one that was. My feeling was that I had not done well on the quantitative section, but from looking at my scores, I was obviously mistaken.

Verbal: 600
Quantitative: 740

So, that is that. Now I get to wait and see if I get accepted to the grad progarm. Wish me luck.