Graduate Record Exam Nightmare

In addition to the article about the Graduate Record Exam I wrote in The Crow’s Nest, I have to mention something that I didn’t get a chance to say: if you don’t know USF Tampa and you signed up to take the exam there, make sure you find out where the testing building is before the test day.

I say this because I was lost for a half hour and thought I’d never make it to the test. The instructions on the GRE e-mail confirmation say to stop by the campus-visiting center immediately upon driving through the entrance and ask the personnel where the testing center building is. My test was at 8 a.m., I arrived on campus at 7 a.m. and the visiting center was not open. Can you smell disaster?

I drove around to find the building while I thanked the heavens for my Blackberry’s ability to give me some kind of direction. The minutes passed quickly and I realized I was circling a campus about 10 times the size of USF St. Petersburg. With 20 minutes left to spare before my test appointment, I sped back to the visiting center and it was finally open! The lady gave me a map and I made it to my test at the last possible minute.

So, it is my obligation to relay to subsequent GRE takers where this elusive building is.

The road leading into the campus is called Leeroy Collins. Off this road, make a right on USF Alumni Drive. Make a left on USF Maple Drive. Follow all the way down to USF Holly Drive and make a left. You will then see USF Myrtle Drive. Make a left and this leads you into the Crescent Hill Parking Facility where all USF students with a parking decal can park. Walk south to the Student Services Building. There are always people walking around so if you get lost, rest assured there is help. The testing services room is upstairs.

Another piece of advice: make sure you do not eat or drink in the testing services waiting room or the testing room. Even though your GRE practice test book says you should bring a snack, snacks are not welcome by the office personnel. You’ll get snapped at.

And another thing – make sure your signature looks exactly the same as the copy on your driver’s license. I had mine whiteout and was told to try again.

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