DiscussãoGraduate Students

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1lovelytoreadyou Primeira Mensagem
Set 2, 2007, 12:26pm

What is the average for everyone here? I'm just curious, I took the GRE this past week and did horribly (no joke). I'm so embarrassed, I'm not going to post my scores. Did anyone have to take it multiple times before getting a score that was alright?

Set 3, 2007, 1:28pm

I won't post my GRE scores. They were fine. I'm not proud, but I do seem to have a knack for standardized testing, so long as I can get my (very poor and distracting) attitude out of the way. I find the numerology of GRE scores tedious and depressing, and in the end refused to send my scores to any schools because I thought they measured almost nothing relevant to my ability to attend graduate school, perform, and move on to a career in research/academia.

My patience paid off. Finally a school offered me a position on those terms (um, I did have to wait nearly a decade) and so I am finally in grad school.

Every year I get an email from the department asking for me to provide my scores as they "must have been misplaced, since they are missing from my record." ;-) One of the many, many small ways I take pleasure in tweaking the Institution.


Set 3, 2007, 8:03pm

andersoj: On every standardized test I've taken to date I've done well above average, except for the GRE! I guess the fact that I'm in a liberal arts program and I haven't taken a math class in 3 years factored into my poor score, but I still expected much better. Who knows! As for your way of going about things.. way to stick it to the man! I'm glad you somehow got around that. Loopholes are great. Thanks!

Set 3, 2007, 8:58pm

soybeanoil - GRE scores are not really comparable across time... I took mine in the late 1980s, and suspect that any comparison between yours and mine would be meaningless. But, remember that the GRE score is only one component of your application package. Your grades are important, especially the ones you received in your major and in your junior/senior years. Your cover letter, and contacts you make in the program you are applying to, are also very important. The GRE scores may impact your initial acceptance package (for example, do you get funding along with acceptance), but may not prevent acceptance to the program.

And of course you can retake the exam. This may increase your rank against others taking the test in the same year, and moving from the 50th percentile upwards is probably much more important then moving from the 90th to the 91st... Only you will be able to gauge your likelihood of improving your score (did you get enough sleep and food before the test, did you have a good testing strategy, did you practice before you took the test the first time)

In any case, do not give up. An MLIS is an interesting degree to pursue... Best of luck!

Set 3, 2007, 10:19pm

Soybeanoil, I wouldn't worry so much about the GRE score. Standardized tests like the GRE and SAT/ACT are not as good a measure of how well you will do as their makers would hope. I for one haven't done very well on any of them, though I'm a non-American taking tests geared towards Americans. I got a 1280 on both the GRE and SAT, and a 31 on the ACT. Not bad, but not terribly good either. *shrugs* I didn't even bother taking any of them again, mostly because, like andersoj said, I doubt their validity to measure actual performance or intelligence. I ended up going to a school that barely even glanced at my scores-- my previous grades and the interview were much more important.

Set 3, 2007, 10:26pm

#5: I think you're confusing the GRE with the PSAT or something....

#1: Before worrying about your score too much, I'd contact the admissions coordinators at graduate programs you're interested in and find out what they consider a typical / acceptable range of GRE scores for successful applicants, and what factors they might consider more or less important than GRE scores.

Editado: Set 3, 2007, 10:36pm

I think three things:

1. You can study for the GREs, you just have to decide to do it and stop thinking of it as some test of innate ability. If you're in the high 600s or low 700s in verbal, for example, the difference between that and 800 is just sitting down every day for a few months with flashcards and previous examms. In my case, I learned about 500 vocab words, and aced it. I also did every GRE logic puzzle published as well as many of the LSAT ones, which are the GRE logic section on steroids. You just learn how to do them. There's no mystery really.

2. A professor I knew who ran a university program was tired of hearing in selection-committee meetings that GREs didn't matter, so he asked the department secretary to draw up a list of all the graduate students they had admitted in the last ten years, ranked by GRE scores, and then passed them out to the professors at the next meeting. Apparently the result was very convincing. The top people were the top people, the middle people were a mixed bag and the lows were all the marginal cases. So, there's something too it. (But then we don't know how well they did at first, only how well they ended up doing. People very often retake it. In a way, whether your score jumps is an indicator all by itself. Someone willing to work to retake a bad score is someone willing to work hard in graduate school.)

3. I scored very well—through an insane quantity of labor, as I freely admit. I'm almost positive it's what got me in, since my Latin and Greek grades were somewhat uneven and someone in admissions mentioned them to me. And I dropped out. So, bad data point.

3a. My best friend got a triple 800 and also dropped out of graduate school. He did, however, teach some Kaplan courses to make money. His students were lucky, I'll tell you.

Set 3, 2007, 10:38pm

Tim's point #3 applies to me too. I scored very well, got into the programs I applied to, and ended up dropping out and entering an entirely different discipline 2 years later. C'est la vie.

Set 3, 2007, 10:47pm

Johnascott: No, I'm sure that I took the GREs. I never took the PSATs either, so I definitely could not have confused the two.

Set 3, 2007, 11:15pm

I killed the GRE (in 1992, first and last time), endured grad school with light wounds, got my PhD at 27, and ten years later... I suddenly remember how much I liked philology. And theatre. And long walks on moonlit beaches. And...

Set 4, 2007, 8:24am

#9: The reason I thought there was some confusion is because the GRE has three sections with a maximum of 800 points each, and it seemed unlikely you would only get a 1280 total if that's what you also got on your SAT. Also, the GRE is for graduate admissions, but you were grouping it with undergrad admission exams.

Set 4, 2007, 8:31am

johnascott: I realize that the GRE is for graduate school. Has the GRE changed recently? Like, this year? I took the test in October last year, and while there are three sections, only two of the ones I took are scored on a scale with 800 as the maximum. The other section is Analytical Writing, which is scored on a scale with 6 as the highest. When I took the (computerized) test, my score-- 1290 (not 1280, my bad) was displayed on the screen.

Editado: Set 4, 2007, 8:59am

#12: Aha! What we have here is a micro-generation gap. The GRE has changed sometime in the past 10 years - the analytic section used to be scored to 800 also. Also, it wasn't a writing section - it used to be mostly logic puzzles. Sorry for doubting!

Edit: It looks like the change occurred in 2002.

Set 4, 2007, 10:54am

These changes annoy me. It's like the SAT change. They renormed the whole thing a few years after I took it, basically because people were getting stupider and the averge was no longer 500. So people who get an X now aren't really getting an X. They're getting some renormed, elevated X.

Set 4, 2007, 12:19pm

I did really well on the SAT! Also, the subject tests: 3x800.

I just wanted to let you know.

Set 4, 2007, 2:13pm

Just next week, I'm taking off a week for a vacation, but, instead of heading to the beach, I'll be holed up at home studying for this bloody test... I'm hoping that, after a week's worth of studying, I'll have a fairly good grasp on what--and how--I need to study in order to take the test by the end of the year...

Set 4, 2007, 8:59pm

I did awful on the GRE and refused to retake it because I felt studying for it was a waste of time. At the time I applied for PhD programs, I was working on my MFA thesis. So, from my perspective, every hour spent on the GRE was one hour I could've been doing research or writing the thesis. In the applications, I decided to put all my stock in my writing sample, statement of purpose and recs, and for me, it was the right decision.

Editado: Out 4, 2007, 11:08am

The renorming pisses me off too. i took my GREs back in the days where there were lots of logic puzzles. One of my friends taught a Kaplan course and swore that almost anybody could get a perfect score on the GREs. i didn't study with her, and sure didn't score perfectly but am convinced the scores got me in the door of the programs i was interested in. (My undergrad GPA reflected too much of an interest in ... er ... non-academic activities.) What the scores won't do is get you an academic scholarship. For that you'd need the whole package -- scores, grades, recommendations, etc.

With the renorming, the test seems much easier. i'd be annoyed if i was taking it now.

Set 6, 2007, 11:03pm

I did pretty well in the writing and verbal sections without studying. The math I studied a lot for and still scored kind of low. Math will never be my strong point. I wouldn't worry too much about GRE scores though. I don't even remember the exact numbers I scored; I just know math was lower than everything else.

Set 6, 2007, 11:14pm

I was so freaked out about the math portion (since I'm not a math person), I spent all my study time focusing on that, to the detriment of my verbal. I ended up with a math score 100 points higher than my verbal... This really hunt me applying to a archaeology program 3 years ago. Now, I've changed paths slightly, and my MLS program didn't even require my GRE score.

Set 11, 2007, 7:27pm

Mine was a 1210 out of 1600 (I really suck at math) and 5.5 out of 6.0 in writing.

22gilgalad Primeira Mensagem
Set 29, 2007, 4:27pm

*Raises eyebrow*

A gentleman never discusses his GRE scores.

However, I will say that I was rather amused that my SAT and GRE score were identical.

Out 1, 2007, 8:04pm

gilgalad: I was amused that the tests were almost identical.

Editado: Out 4, 2007, 11:05am

i'd recommend prepping for them like you would any other test. Except here instead of


the formula would be:


Out 2, 2007, 1:29am

I will not post my GRE test experience here.

Out 2, 2007, 1:31am

>These changes annoy me. It's like the SAT change. They renormed the whole thing a few years after I took it, basically because people were getting stupider and the averge was no longer 500. So people who get an X now aren't really getting an X. They're getting some renormed, elevated X.

I thought the whole point of the renormed GRE was specifically that the scoring would be more evenly distributed. The first question is supposed to be a 50/50 chance for right/wrong with the test progressively branching to harder/easier from there.

Out 3, 2007, 3:00pm

Sniv: Well said :D

Out 30, 2007, 2:55am

My gosh! How do you people even remember your scores? I'm teaching SAT prep at the moment and my kids are incredibly curious about my scores, except I took the SATs when they were mere zygotes. And, if I can't remember my GRE scores, I certainly won't my SATs.

Out 30, 2007, 10:48pm

I'm caught up in that nauseating space between undergrad and graduate education. I just took the GRE for the first time this past week, and suffice to say, I'm banking on the rest of my academic accomplishments to get me in the door.

Nov 28, 2007, 2:22pm

I got my GRE scores about 3 weeks ago and have already forgotten them, except for my sad writing score - which I think is due to the terrible Argument prompt. So now I'm shelling out more money for them to review the score and just hoping that the schools I applied to will pay more attention to my writing sample, essays, recommendations, undergrad transcript, etc. I'm worried it might hurt my chances of getting tuition assistance, though...I really don't want more debt.

Dez 5, 2007, 9:34pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I retook the exam a month ago and did MUCH better. About 320 points better, actually. Good luck to everyone who takes it in the future!

Dez 6, 2007, 7:52am


33aluinnsearlait Primeira Mensagem
Jan 14, 2008, 4:36pm

My score was abysmal, 1110 with a 5.5 in the writing, far lower than my SAT scores.

I'm hoping that my high GPA, references, writing sample, and statement of purpose will get me in the door -- if not, obviously I know what I have to do.

Jan 18, 2008, 10:02pm

I did not have to take the GRE. For my degree, we had the option of either taking the GRE or the MAT (Miller Analogies Test) and I opted for the latter.

Jan 27, 2008, 10:39pm

I took mine last month and got a higher than average score. The writing section was an absolute breeze for me, though I was nervous about my score as I was rather more pejorative than I should have been.

I will say, though, that I got The GRE Test for Dummies book and it helped A LOT. I'm terrible at math, and it got me through that section (even though I guessed on about 50% of the questions).

Mar 7, 2008, 6:46pm

I took them long ago and far away and got 650/680 = 1330 total and 100 points each less than on my SATs. I took the Miller Analogies 3 years ago at 50 and it blew my mind!!!! I thought I'd failed it, made a 420 (out of600) which turned out to be 99%ile. Go figure!

Mar 12, 2008, 9:29am

I have ADD, and the caffeine normally wears off after about 1.5 hours. I sat the GRE twice. The first time I got 700/600, the second 600/700!

I console myself in the fact that standardized tests have, historically been biased and an inaccurate way to determine potential (although I guess it's all they have right now). If it were up to me I would can them completely.

Maio 12, 2008, 2:15pm

YES!!!! The first time I took the GRE I did not do that well. I applied to a graduate school, SCSU in Connecticut and got rejected...mind you I was going back to school after 15 years..I was devastated. But, I dove back in , took the GRE again, did great, reapplied to the school I got rejected from and a more competitive one, Simmons and I got into both. I chose to go to Simmons, and I love it. Honestly, I don't remember the scores, but don't worry there is ALWAYS someone who is in the same boat as you. It's a hard test! Just keep trying, Dr. Seuss was rejected 150 times before his first book was published, the point is if you want something enough, you will just keep pushing on.