Wednesday, July 13, 2011

coulda' been a 750

I just took a 30-minute Quantitative practice test and scored a 750... but only after going five minutes overtime. This was a classic case of allowing myself to gnaw for too long on a single problem. I should have skipped the problem, done the easier ones, then gone back to the hard problem with the time remaining to me.

I blame my Droid's Free Cell app. I've been a Free Cell addict since I was introduced to Windows back in the 90s. We Mac-heads don't normally get to enjoy prepackaged games like Free Cell and Minesweeper, so this was something of a treat for me, and it rapidly became an obsession. On my phone's scoreboard, my win/loss record has me at over 98% wins, all thanks to my tenacity: I never give up a Free Cell game even when things seem hopeless. Unfortunately, this same tenacity can work against a person in a GRE situation; the perseverance that wins a Free Cell game is a time sink during a test, where it's often better to cut your losses and focus on what you can do.

Lesson learned: cut those losses. Now I'm off to try my hand at a Verbal section. I scored 730 on a practice session last night; we'll see whether I can beat that tonight. Stay tuned; there may be updates shortly. Give me a half-hour.

UPDATE: 760 on the Verbal section (from a raw score of 35 out of 38). And I didn't go overtime.



Charles said...

It's not so much the Free Cell app (although I suspect you were being somewhat facetious with that comment) as it is the fact that you have a perfectionist (or at least a completionist) personality. Some people can hop from one task to another at will. Others need to do one task and finish it before moving on to the next. I'm generally the latter, but I have had to adopt the former attitude out of necessity while working on the Dis.

Good luck as you continue to edge toward your goal.

Kevin Kim said...

Yeah, I wasn't exactly serious about Free Cell. And I dig the word "completionist," especially given the older meaning of "perfect" as "complete."