Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012 5:00 PM--GRE

I took the GRE today.  I had been studying for about 5 months and in the end it paid off because I did pretty well.  Taking a standardized test in this country was an interesting experience.  I had taken the GMAT three times in the states, so I have a lot to compare this too.  Taking a standardized test in Uganda is very different than taking one America. 

I went to the testing center about 40 minutes before my test time.  Usually in the U.S. they say to arrive about a half hour before your appointment time.  When I arrive early to a test in the U.S. there are usually already about half a dozen people there waiting to take whatever test they are there for.  Here, in Uganda, the test moderator showed up 10 minutes before my appointment.  I had to wait outside the test center and hope that someone showed up.  I was also the only person who was taking any test today.

During the test you can clearly hear all the noise from outside.  The test center is right on the main road in Kampala, so you can hear all the traffic and car horns outside.  Not to mention the test moderator had his phone ring twice during my test.  They provide a headset that is supposed to block out the noise, but it doesn’t really help.  In America, the test centers are so quite.  I think they might actually be sound proofed.

In the end, I was really glad I got to even take the test.  I’ve heard stories of people having software problems when they go to take a test here.  One girl even had to reschedule her test because the software was down that day.  I didn’t want to have any problems and I didn’t want to have to come back.  Luckily, I didn’t have any software problems.

In general, I feel like someone taking a standardized test in Uganda (or any other African country) should just be given a few extra points because by taking it here you are automatically at a disadvantage.

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