I'm good at standardized tests, much better than I am at learning. What careers might lend themselves to those sort of skills?
Just officially got my GRE scores back (thanks for getting me there!
) and they're strong - 167V/167Q/6W, which corresponds to percentiles of 97, 95, and 99 respectively. This echoes similar performance on both the ACTs and SATs over multiple sittings. All with only enough prep to get me familiar with question types.
I fully accept that standardized tests are a poor measure of much, and I would certainly advocate that schools don't rely on them much for assessments of achievement. However, of course I'd like to use mine - both the scores and the skills - to my advantage.
For reference, I'm a college junior with an Econ major, which I enjoy a lot, and a strong-ish quant background. My work experience is mostly in public policy, which I love sometimes and hate sometimes, so I figure now is the right time to sort of explore my options. Luckily, I think that my background is generic enough to apply to a lot of careers or graduate programs.
I think I'm good at analytical thinking, and solving questions using standard reasoning skills. I really loved the format of GRE math questions - they aren't technically challenging, sometimes it just takes a minute to figure out the right calculation.
On the other hand, my grades and performance in school are only ehh (3.6 GPA, at a fairly challenging institution). I don't do well with learning from lectures and I don't put in the work I should to do spectacularly well - I hardly ever do the reading, honestly (I know, I know). While I'm interested in the world, I don't think I'm a particularly motivated learner, as much as it pains me to admit.
This is my main question, then: What careers, or fields, are focused more on problem-solving and less on building a large bank of information?
I like teamwork, I like people, and I CAN learn specific information - I just don't usually love it and I would find it hard to sustain over a long period of time. Similarly, I can write and I can do research, it just doesn't feel satisfactory in the way that attacking a gnarly problem does. I've loved challenges like teaching myself to unlock an iPhone with zero background knowledge, and I loved things like vector calculus that involve applying things I already know in new ways but hate stuff like statistics that involve fairly blind memorization. I really like getting consistent feedback on my work, both from people and from self-evident feedback mechanisms. I've been told I'm well-spoken and I generally prefer jobs with highly established expectations.
I hope what I've written makes sense. Getting GRE scores that far outpace my grades, which follows a long pattern of similar performance, has me thinking again about strengths and weaknesses (and how I should work harder in school).