Category Archives: gre

Additional List

Continuing with my studying, I realized my last list was lacking. I know I didn’t mean to create anything even remotely comprehensive, but I realized I left some pretty important stuff out, like Whitman and Falkner (both have been added now to the previous list).

The following authors and works are not in any particular order (and only works that are most likely to be tested are listed). This list also includes some of the less likely to appear names, but worth a mention anyway.
George Bernard Shaw – Pygmalion, and maybe Arms and the Man. He also has a lot of criticism that were published in various gazettes.
Arthur Rimbaud – Le Bateau Ivre
Samuel Butler – Erewhon, and the maybe The Way of the Flesh
Samuel Butler (not the same as the one above) – Hudibras
John Dos Passos – Three Soldiers
Robert Frost – The Road Less Traveled, Mending Wall, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, and Desert Places.
Langston Hughes – Not Without Laughter, and maybe The Ways of White Folks
Allen Ginsburg – Howl and other Poems.
Robert Burns – I don’t know which ones are his most important poems. They are all fairly short so if you look through a few you should get a sense of his style.
Flannery O’Connor – A Good Man is Hard to Find, and maybe Wise Blood

Oliver Goldsmith – She Stoops to Conquer

John Berryman – The Dream Songs
Anne Bradstreet – Tenth Muse
Anne Bronte – Agnes Grey, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
George Gascoigne – Hundredth Sundry Flowres (retitled later)
Thomas Carew – A Rapture, the Celia poems, and maybe The Spring.
John Webster – The Malcontent, and The Duchess of Malfi
Samuel Pepys – Diary of Samuel Pepys
Hugh Latimer – His Sermons
Dante – The Divine Comedy
Albert Camus – The Stranger
Thomas Chatterton – This is another one where I don’t know what is most important. In fact there is more I have read about him than by him.
Gerard Manley Hopkins – The Wreck of the Deutschland, God’s Grandeur, and maybe Carrion Comfort
Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle into the Good Night, Death Shall Have No Dominion, and maybe Under Milk Wood.
William Dean Howells – The Rise of Silas Lapham and maybe Through the Eye of the Needle
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Honore de Balzac – The Human Comedy
Elizabeth Gaskell – Cranford, Mary Barton, and maybe’s Sylvia’s Lovers
Charlotte Perkins Gilman – The Yellow Wallpaper
J. S. Mill – Autobiography, On Liberty, What is Poetry?, and maybe The Subjection of Women
Hart Crane – The Bridge, and maybe collected poems.
Emily Dickinson – Her poems are short, so read as many as you can. She has a distinct style, easy to recognize.
Marcel Proust – Swann’s Way, Remembrance of Things Past, and maybe In Search of Lost Time
Maya Angelou – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Still I Rise
Jorge Luis Borges – The Aleph, The Secret Miracle, Tlon Uqbar and Orbis Tertius
T. E. Lawrence – Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Rainer Maria Rilke – The Book of Hours, Duino Elegies
R. H. Dana Jr. – To Cuba and Back
Edna St. Vincent Millay – The Lamp and the Bell, and The Princess Marries the Page. Her poetry is fairly short, so you can skim through it. I am not sure which ones are considered the most famous.
Kate Chopin – Story of an Hour, The Storm, and maybe A Pair of Silk Stockings
Walter Savage Landor – Imaginary Conversations
Edith Wharton – The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and maybe The Touchstone and The Buccaneers
Malcolm Lowry – Under the Volcano
Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Canterville Ghost, Lady Windermere’s Fan, and maybe The Happy Prince and other Stories
I still haven’t done the Russians yet, will get to those shortly. I am sort of working on the Classics, and should have them done sometime soon.

Better Than I Expected

I just got home from taking the GRE. The two essay sections have not yet been graded (obviously), but I received my scores for the multiple choice sections immediately. I don’t know what it means percentile wise since I don’t have a complete score, and the percentile is calculated in terms of how other people did, but I scored far better than I expected, or could have hoped for.

Out of the eighty questions I got five wrong. Two on the verbal, and three on the math.

Unlike on my practice tests, I don’t get to see which ones I got wrong. I wish I did solely for my own curiosity. Were those the questions I had some trouble with and that took me forever to solve? Or were there other, deceptively easy questions that I misjudged? Did I get the same kind of questions wrong on the actual exam that I was getting wrong on the practice tests?

Yes, I know none of this matters. But still.

Once the test ended I figured out which one was the experimental section. I thought it might have been, but I wasn’t about to anger the GRE and not try my hardest on it anyway. And who knows, maybe I am wrong. They don’t actually tell you, but considering the score I got, the experimental section must have been the math one in the middle that made absolutely no sense. If it had been a real section my quantitative score would have been far lower. Like so much far lower I would have dove into negative points. “What did you get on the GRE?” “Negative five.” “What??”

I don’t have to do this anymore. Oh my God. I don’t have to do this anymore!

Now I can really start studying for the fun GRE. Not that any part of the GRE is fun, but at least the subject test will be about things I am more or less interested in. Not that I am not incredibly interested in trigonometry, but literature is kind of my thing. Sometimes.

With my luck, I will have to read eighty thousand post colonial novels.


Chasing the Carrot

I am taking the GRE in less than two weeks, and I feel like a rabbit on a treadmill chasing a carrot. No matter how many practice tests I take, I can’t seem to get a perfect score. Close, but no carrot. Even when I get a 100 percent on one section I will miss a couple in the following section. I blame the adaptive nature of the test since it became computerized. Oh, so you got 100 percent? Here, let’s give you a harder section next time. Damn.

Honestly I don’t even know what my strong points are anymore. I am getting the same scores for math and English. The only constant seems to be that I am terrible with probability, and I seem to be weak at those fill in the blank questions where you are supposed to pick two answers. I almost always get one of the two right. Except you get no partial credit, so having half an idea isn’t good enough.
I am probably going to take at least half a dozen more practice tests between now and test day, but somehow I don’t think I am going to improve to perfection by then. Actually I am very sure of it. In fact I am pretty sure that even if I took a full dozen practice tests by then it still won’t do that much good.
Apparently I am doing a lot better than a lot of other people so at this point I guess I will just keep doing what I am doing. And maybe stop waking up at three in the morning to do practice tests. Like clock work. Every night. The clock strikes three and I wake up, half awake, fully alert, going for my laptop.
They say it is best to take practice tests under the same conditions and in the similar state of mind as when you will be taking the actual exam. Sure, I will just quit my job and stay home to take practice tests at noon every day during a self induced panic attack. Sounds about right.
On the bright side, I can’t get any worse. Right??