Well I’m sure my thousands and thousands of adoring fans are anxious waiting to hear how my day went, right?
Actually, overall, the experience was quite good. I’m still relatively sick, but the lady supervising the testing center was extremely amicable, pointing me to the center’s Kleenex that I was welcome to take in with me and even offered me a couple of cough drops from her own purse. Hard to complain about service like that!
The test was pretty much exactly what I expected, and I did about as well as I expected to do. I was done in a little under 2.5 hours, so don’t let the 4-hour full-length time scare you away; keep in mind I did the math portion in roughly 12 minutes (out of 40 I think).
One practice test I took that was adaptive and simulated the look and feel of the GRE scored me at both 620 and 600 the two times I took it (in regards the verbal section, AKA the only section that matters for me) and they were dead on, as I ended up with a verbal score of 610. Not spectacular, but not too shabby either. It should keep my application from getting weeded out right out of the gate, even at Notre Dame.
My math score….well. Suffice it to say it confirms my belief that I probably ‘do math’ at about a 7th grade level, but was also quite high considering I answered (mostly) at random, and I’m not kidding.
I managed to get to bed at around 1am, which probably sounds late but is actually extremely early for me, and didn’t have much trouble getting up at 7am to get to the testing center by 9. I’m feeling mostly better physically.
So, there’s the update. I wish I could say the hardest part was over but I’m still facing the logistical nightmare of organizing all ‘the other stuff’ – letters of recommendation, statement of purpose letters, getting my writing sample edited with (hopefully) my best stuff, etc. The worst part honestly is getting all the money together to pay for everything. It’s going to be about $45 for 5 official transcripts from IUSB, and about $235 in application fees if I end-up applying to all four schools I’m aiming at, which are: Notre Dame, IU Bloomington, Purdue (who has an MFA program, who knew? It’s the 6th best funded in the country, too. WTF?) and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which is even more expensive than Notre Dame (thank God ND waives tuition for its MFA program!).
The SAIC is the most expensive in terms of application fees ($80, ouch!) so they may not make the cut, mostly because I’m not sure I have a considerable shot at it, and even if they accepted me I have no idea how I’d afford tuition, much less living in Chicago. They suckered me in with beautiful, high-quality mailed materials that are full of gorgeous artwork and very impressive writing from their graduate students. I can’t help but apply. Their propaganda has worked!