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Feb. 17th, 2005

A few days ago I was taking a quiz in my French textbook. I couldn't remember one of the conjugations of a verb, so I did the others then came back to it. I finally remembered the answer. I think part of what was giving me trouble is that it's the same as the Spanish conjugation of the same verb in a different person.

Anyway, this reminds me of something I wanted to write about the new computer-based GRE test. It's computer adaptive, which means the questions you get are dependent on how well you answer preceding questions. The more questions you answer correctly, the more difficult a test you get. You cannot go back to change an answer or fill something in that you previously left out. I'm not too thrilled about this. OTOH, you can still take a paper-based GRE, but you have to wait several weeks for your scores. (Unofficial scores are available immediately after you take the computer-based GRE, and the official scores are available after a week or two.)

Piano practice is starting to take up a lot of time. Knight Ruppert has proven to be somewhat challenging. I have to play everything really slowly to get both the proper fingering and technique. I'm also working on an arrangement for four pianists (on two pianos) of Bach's Minuet in G. The fingering is somewhat awkward because I have to use two hands in places where I would normally use one. My teacher had originally assigned me parts 1 and 3, but she decided she wanted a couple of her other students to play those parts, so now I'm working on parts 2 and 4. I'm actually wondering if we'll ever perform this; there hasn't been any mention of an adult recital. If I start feeling like I'm neglecting some of the other things I want to do (like French), I might try to postpone working on the Bach.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
slfisher
Feb. 18th, 2005 12:21 pm (UTC)
I definitely got a lower score on the GRE because I couldn't go back and change my answers.
gregbo
Feb. 18th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
It's unfortunate, especially after all the years of being told the proper way to take a test is to answer all the questions you know first, then return to the others.
cellio
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
How can a GRE score be ultimately meaningful if it's based on how hard a test the software thought you could handle? Or does it automatically give you some compensating points as it bumps you up in level?
gregbo
Feb. 18th, 2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
Good question. Another is how the difficulty in questions is determined — is it from past performance of test-takers?

I haven't found anything online yet that explains the philosophy of the adaptive scoring. I'll keep looking.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )