Monday, January 07, 2008

non-adventures with the GRE

On standardized tests, the fill-in-the blank questions often make a matter-of-fact statement about any number of things. For example, from The Princeton Review's Cracking the GRE,

Moby Dick, now regarded as a great work of American literature, was virtually ______ when it was first published, and it was not until many years later that Melville's achievements were

a. lampooned . . justified
b. unknown . . relegated
c. hailed . . understood
d. literate . . recorded
e. ignored . . recognized

This creates a problem for easily distracted people like me. Rather than immediately starting to eliminate answers, I sit for a few seconds and think. Really? Moby Dick was virtually ignored?

I'm wondering if I ought to change the "esoterica" tag to "mundane distractions".


Territorial Soufleé said...

Perhaps Moby became belligerent towards Ishmael because he was ignored by the literary world. And also why he turned to a career of electronic Dance Music to escape.

kel said...

standardized tests are ______.

a. lame
b. not lame
c. pizza

on that Moby Dick question i would have read option 'a' and seen harpooned instead of lampooned and thought, 'right. harpooned... whales... it's got to be 'a'.'

jo said...

I would have looked at the question and noticed that the blanks are much too small for any of those words... it frustrates me to this day. Make the blanks big enough so I can visually fill them in with words. This is one place we don't need to save space, I promise.

jo said...

...and that's a note to the test writer... not to you.

I just wanted to clarify.