I’M FREE– well, not really. I’m still booked for the October date for the Physics GRE, but hey, after finishing the Physics GRE today, I feel much better. This is just a quick recap of how it went down.
The ticket says to get there no later than 8:30 – just in case, I arrived a bit after 8. If you’ve ever written a SAT, the check in procedure was very similar – only instead of 100 or so people, there were only ~25 each for physics and math. Unlike the security at the General GRE, there…was no security. Basically like the SAT. Line up, show them your ticket and ID, receive a seating number, and sit down. You could bring everything in and just shove it under the desk. Since I was in a rush this morning, I didn’t remember to bring a water bottle or something until I was in the car – but since I remembered reading that you couldn’t have food or drink anyway, I didn’t go back for one.
This might vary by test center/proctor, but our proctor basically said that as long as it wasn’t on the table, it was fine. Ugh, so thirsty u___u
**ALSO! Analog watch! Our room didn’t have a clock which kind of sucked for judging time. However, the proctor did update with the time on the board every now and then. On one hand, I think it might have helped me feel more calm, on the other, it might have been nice to have?
As for the actual test, I found this one to be easier than the practice tests*? I’m not sure why – maybe it was just knowing that hey, I’m stuck here for 3 hours might as well just calm down and eh I know it or I don’t! that let me think calmly. Although time had been an issue on the practice tests, by skipping right away and coming back to eliminate guess, I actually had an extra 5 or 10 minutes to just double check my bubbling. Overall, I answered 95 questions, but guessed maybe 15-20 of them, after being able to eliminated 2 or 3 of the answers. Most of the questions I couldn’t answer were special topic types – anyone remember anything about MRIs? Yeah, me neither.
This is the same situation as practice tests, but there were some questions which I skipped at first glance because they looked difficult, or like particle physics questions that I couldn’t answer. But again, since I had nothing better to do for those three hours than answer as many questions as possible, after slowing down and rereading the question, it was sometimes just a simple, say, conservation of momentum question.
Probably one of the trickiest parts was the wording. It’s so easy to misread a question – eg a question asked for angular momentum but I’d read angular frequency. Thankfully the angular frequency was not one of the answers so I went back to read the question and fixed my answer accordingly.
Overall, the biggest problem was that by the end, I was so damn tired that I was guessing a lot more often. Although apparently the second half of the test was also comparatively harder, according to everyone else. Fatigue definitely took a toll. Washroom breaks are allowed, so I did use that to my advantage to take a mini walk to clear my head, but still. Three hours is a looooooooooooooong time.
The test results come out in 6 weeks though, so I won’t know how I did before the October date. Yikes.
tl;dr wasn’t too bad, should’ve brought water, need sleep
*roughly the same difficulty if not a tiny harder than the 08 one which I hadn’t done at the time of the September GRE date