Friday, August 1, 2008

I love how the GRE is computer-based.... the same way that Velveeta is cheese-based.

I have been using Barron's GRE prep book in getting ready for my GRE on the 11th of this month. It's a pretty decent book and it comes with a CD that lets you take practice tests. About a week after I signed up for the GRE online, ETS, the people who make these wonderful tests, sent me a practice CD. It's nice that they sent me free testing materials, but upon putting the disk in my machine I was a bit surprised.

First of all, Autorun didn't kick in at all. I almost forgot I put it in until I realized no naggy "INSTALL MEEEE" screen popped up over all of my other stuff. Upon further investigation, the CD has an Autorun but for some reason it didn't activate. I manually started the setup file and away it went.

I was surprised at the old-style of installer because I assumed that this being the current year's software, it would run something like Windows Installer or InstallShield at least. It loaded quickly and I looked around for the program. Great! No destop icon.

After hunting it down in the file system (and making my self an ICON), I opened the main testing program and my computer exploded. ...Well, I shouldn't say that, but it resized my screen resolution to something so small that the driver on my LCD screen defaulted to trying to revert it. Apparently this software is really for Win95/95 and has simply been ported forward to allow XP users to use it.

From the monopolistic leader in testing in America, I was pretty surprised at the archaic software. I mean, is it just that they want to make sure all those Win95 users are covered or are they too cheap to upgrade. ETS probably masks the latter with the former.

Anyway, I did really well on my first full test! 1280 on the complete practice. The verbal was tougher than it was in previous practices. This is a very good score for what I'm trying to do (Ph.D. in Microbiology), so I'm reasonably optimistic.

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The content of this page is completely the creation and opinion of James Rogers. He is affiliated with Connect Mason and formerly Broadside Online but the relationship only governs republication, not content.

Further, in the interest of full disclosure, this author holds minor financial investments in Apple, Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices.