Wednesday, July 06, 2011

the new hours, the new life

Our new summer schedule at YB, which began two Mondays ago in the final week of June, requires me to wake up earlier. Thus far, I've managed to avoid arriving late, though a couple of my coworkers are having a bit of trouble on that score: one has been barely on time, and the other has already been late twice. It's not easy, when you've been living a vampire's life, to adjust to a more human rhythm.

I've also been wrestling with the messiness that heralds the start of any new curriculum: students who come unprepared, students who haven't received the necessary course materials, etc. For most of my "boot camp" students, a proper cadence has been established, but I've still got one or two stragglers who will need to do plenty of makeup work before everyone on my list is on the same page.

At home, I've turned to my other GRE prep materials. I began flipping through the Revised GRE guide published by ETS, and it's been helpful as a way to understand the new testing format. I discovered that the new GRE will be scored very differently from the previous version: the point system is totally different. That, in turn, makes me wonder what sort of standard Manhattan GRE will adopt. What counts as 99th percentile now?

The new format is a bit intimidating in some ways; at least, that's my impression of the Verbal section. I haven't looked at the new Quantitative section yet. The Analytical Writing section has been somewhat altered as well: the second exercise ("Analyze an Argument") hasn't changed, but the first exercise has been retitled "Analyze an Issue." I'm still trying to figure out how it's different from the former "Present Your Perspective on an Issue" task.

Along with my ETS guide to the new GRE, I've got three fat texts by the Kaplan folks ("Higher scores guaranteed!"). I casually flipped through a very informative overview of the types of math problems to be found on the new GRE. Later this week-- perhaps starting tonight-- I'll be doing something I haven't done in years: formulating a study schedule. My hope is to get through a certain number of ETS and Kaplan exercises before my next attempt at the GRE, which will be on August 26. We'll see how that goes.


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