GRE class…

Just when I didn’t think I could add any more to my schedule, I signed up for a GRE prep class. 4 classes total: 3 Saturdays and 1 Sunday sessions, 9-3 pm. The last Saturday of the month, I take the GRE, a 3-4 hour exam, with only one 10 minute break. My prep book suggests you drink minimally and dress in layers. You aren’t allowed to bring a calculator to the exam, instead, the exam provides a calculator on the computer screen. Our instructor says to use the calculator sparingly, only for complex calculations otherwise pushing the buttons wastes time.

Our first class, our instructor raced through the math portion of the exam, offering us strategies and review. The GRE math section is only high school math. The difficult part of the exam is to complete each question in one minute and 30 seconds. The prep class is surprisingly helpful because the structure forces me to review before test day. I am not learning anything new but trying to recall information already learned (primarily this year in Algebra).

The instructor was helpful in pointing out areas where we can estimate, speed through the process of elimination instead as I would have done, trying to answer the question. Standardized testing is not about how much you know cumulatively, it’s about how well you test take. My ability to do well on this exam is not a reflection of my ability to do math, but how quickly I can see the correct answer from the choices, or in the few questions that are fill-in deduct the answer quickly.

Next week is a math review on geometry, data analysis and quantitative reasoning, then the following 2 sessions are verbal reasoning and analytical writing.

I’ve come to terms with the fact I have no life besides school. I’ve even added to my schedule, free workshops offered at the public library. I attended basics of personal finance and credit score. Remaining workshops are: will writing, building a better budget, and retirement planning. I have a decent level of understanding of all of the above mentioned topics, but it’s refreshing to be reminded of what I should be doing in life.

I learned that bad debt/negative delinquency on your credit score will go away in 7 years. It does not stay there forever. If you are planning to buy a house or a car, it’s best to spend 10% or less of your available credit on your credit card up to one year prior to buying for better financing. I was reminded to review my cash flow, to know where I spend money in an effort to reduce spending to save for bigger goals.

I spent Sunday morning reviewing my finances and I spend a lot of money on gear and travel. My justification on gear – I am working at a place that offers incredible discounts and by the time I go to nursing school, I likely won’t be working here, therefore I should buy everything I need with the discount… planning for future adventures. It’s logical.

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