I sat the STAT exam Saturday morning. Aside from a few pre-exam nerves things seemed to go reasonably smoothly. I completed all the questions in the time allotted, and I felt fairly comfortable with the answers that I chose. Some last minute heart palpitations arose when I checked over the test and realized that I'd miscalculated a few of the graph questions, however I took to them with an eraser, like a bar-fly to a bowl of complimentary peanuts, and with much muttering, cursing, foot tapping and chin scratching I rooted out the offending errors one by one. There is, however, the distinct possibility that I changed perfectly good answers into completely incorrect ones, but there is no point thinking about that now.
For a bit of background on the STAT (the acronym actually stands for special tertiary admissions test), it is a test designed to allow adults with a desire to return to university a chance to prove their intellect by answering questions in a multiple choice format. In all there are seventy questions and punters are allowed 2 hours in which to complete them. Most people would probably think: Seventy multiple choice questions, that can't be hard, right? Not so, unfortunately. A single question on the STAT can contain three pages of graphs, written information, tables and codes. As you can appreciate, time is of the essence when you have to read, comprehend, and respond to three pages of jargon in order to answer just one question. About five thousand people shuffled into the hall at the Caulfield racecourse on Saturday to tackle the dreaded STAT; about twenty minutes into it approximately half that number had left in defeat.
There are two components of the STAT, these are quantitative (math) and verbal (English). Fortunately, I chanced upon a great preparation course which I've been enrolled in over the last six weeks. The prep course can't really make you any smarter, but it does give you an idea of the minefield you're going to walk into. It was also good in that it was held at the university that I've applied for next year, allowing me a chance to check out the facilities and suss out the campus lifestyle. I love the look of the place. It is surrounded by lakes and gardens and I can picture myself sitting on its expansive green lawns, musing over the day's lessons. It will be refreshing to think, really think, for the first time in years. Breaking free of the nullifying effects of corporate drudgedom should prove to be a breath of fresh air. But for the time being these are just dreams and I'm getting a long way ahead of myself.
I'll get my results mid November.