On the road to GREPosted: January 21, 2013
Been 44 days since I set my foot on this road. It’s been quite a bit of an interesting journey so far. This would have been the first time I would be studying English (vocabulary, sentence completion, and reading comprehension) so seriously, along with high school math (as per Indian standards). This turned to be quite in contrast with the usual academia of mine consisting of logical and objective question solving in high school and computer science engineering courses now.
I had a pretty comfortable start, in my home, where I had prepared for my 10th boards and got quite high results. So a lucky start, I may say. My nature had always been that of a perfectionist, and thus I had set my target too high of 335/340. But as they say, perfectionism is a myth. So I’m still curious to see how much the pragmatic result turns out to be.
I was home for almost a month and barely went out, thanks to the dusty and under developed state of my hometown. I started slow, as my attention span would only last for 20 minutes (I was actually trying to follow the Pomodoro technique) followed by getting lost in the sea of social networks. But after a week, I was able to pull 6 to 7 hours per day of study. Mostly focusing on Quantative section in the beginning and trying to complete the online GRE material that I had bought from greedge.
Yast turned to be a very useful tool to track my productivity on timeline. I also analyzed my sleep pattern, as I wanted to experiment with Polyphasic sleep schedule, but couldn’t hold on to it as I needed a lot of focus in the daytime. Quite a few of my hours were spent in coding in php (still a novice), trying to implement a research algorithm for data anonymization (with sincere hopes of receiving a letter of recommendation from the author of that algorithm). During this time, I was spared the distractions that may have occurred if I had received my new phone, Nexus 4. Though I was expecting a delivery from ebay, they couldn’t arrange it, and I just looked onto the brighter side.
After coming back to college, and staying off work for almost 3 days in train (India, again) I spent the nest 3-4 days trying to complete the implementation of the algorithm by coding around 7-8 hours a day. And I couldn’t resist the following events after the classes started. The socializing and dinners with friends on meeting after (not) such a long time took up most of my evening leaving me hardly 2 hours of studying time. But after a few days, I could make up around 3-4 hours of preparation, though striving for the ideal 4+ hours. Took an almost 4 days break by going to Pondicherry (antagonizing my perfectionist attitude, which had been demanding sacrifice all these years).
By this time, I’ve completed my online material, except for analytical writing part. I’ve also solved Barron’s quantative section and currently on the official GRE book. Next weekend I again have to go for a hackathon in Chennai, though I’m just gonna again hog and have a good time over there. I just hope this journey ends well in March, when I’ll be giving my exam (most probably). The overflowing population of this country made my nearest test centers to fill up even 3 months before the exam which would force me to travel overnight to Hyderabad to give my exam.