GRE Words I didn't Know until Today

So I seem to have come down with a bad case of senioritis, even though I am just a junior. I have a test tomorrow morning in neurobiology, an online quiz due tonight for neuropsychology, a presentation due Wednesday for my history class, and two overdue assignments for cell biology... but instead of doing ANY of those I spent the day studying for the GREs.

In case you aren't up on your graduate school requirements, the GRE is the entrance exam for graduate school. Med schools require the MCAT, law schools want LSAT scores, and business schools insist you take the GMAT - but if you want a masters (in something other than business) or a PhD in anything you are looking at the GRE. And since I want a PhD in either neuroscience or molecular biology I am looking at the GRE.

The GRE is basically a SAT for college students - in fact it is published by the same company that puts out the SAT. It has a verbal section, a math section, and an analytical writing section each of which is worth 800 points. And, of course, there are subject tests (I'll be taking one in biology).

Anyway, the GRE math section is supposedly easy but the verbal section is notoriously brutal. At first I thought, "Whatever, how hard can it be?" Well I took a diagnostic test today and let me tell you, its hard.

Here is an example of the words I didn’t know before today:

phlegmatic- calm, sluggish, unemotional, stoic

quaff- to drink deeply

quotidian- occurring or recurring daily, commonplace

loquacious- extremely talkative

prolix- long-winded, verbose

inimical- damaging, harmful, injurious, hostile, unfriendly

inimitable- one of a kind, peerless

filigree- an ornamental work, especially of delicate lacelike patterns, resembling such a pattern

denigrate- blacken, belittle, sully, defame, disparage

pillory- to punish, hold up to public scorn

chary- wary, cautious, sparing

puerile- childish, immature

inchoate- in an initial stage, not fully formed

peripatetic- itinerant, traveling, nomadic

itinerant- to travel from place to place

tyro- a novice, beginner in learning

nascent- coming into being; in early development stages

bucolic- rustic and pastoral, characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants

cadge- to sponge, beg, or mooch

And in case that wasn't bad enough, there are many secondary definitions of everyday words that make the test even more confusing. For example:

brook- to tolerate, endure, countenance

nice- exacting, extremely or even excessively precise; done with delicacy or skill

list- to tilt or lean to one side

quail- to shrink back in fear, lose courage

prize- to pry, to press or force with a lever

flag- to sag or droop, to become spiritless; to decline

flip- sarcastic, impertinent

die- a tool used for shaping

mince- pronounce or speak affectedly or too carefully, euphemize, take tiny steps, tiptoe

So are you ready to take the test? I know I'm not. There are hundreds, maybe even over 1000 more words that I don't know that could show up on the test. I have plenty more GRE studying to do... but I guess I should do my more immediate work first. Neurobiology here I come!


Zac said...

To prepare for your test... you should write your next post using a min of 50 of those new words... :-)

The "official" teacher contacted Mrs. Pile... and she sent over the list she used for our year... I do suppose I should talk with her myself though... lol.

You would love this class. We have about 7 books that we are looking at... using journals to log thoughts, and class conversation to discuss contrasting themes. Plus, and this is the cool part, we have a pseudo movie club where, a few nights a week, we are watching Dystopia and Utopian films... we have already finished Avalon, Equilibrium, V for Vendetta, and Banlieue 13... it has been pretty cool.

The utopias and dystopias are giving us a lot of material and starting points for various conversations about life, government, religion, sexuality, privacy, etc.... I think there just might be hope for these kids to be intelligent and cultured conversationalists.... :-)

How goes the running? Where are you going to be this summer?... Oh, and you need to post more often... ;-)

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