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wilmabluekitty
Wilma Weant Dague

Oct 8, 2006, 8:54 AM

Post #76 of 357 (6789 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Pay Attention to grad school requirements! [In reply to] Can't Post

Gack! I always pick the wrong side for the reader on those!


Banyon


Oct 8, 2006, 11:14 AM

Post #77 of 357 (6786 views)
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Re: [wilmabluekitty] Pay Attention to grad school requirements! [In reply to] Can't Post

I just took the GREs this summer, and the writing section wasn't bad. For one essay they give you a statement like "Gun control is bad," and then you write an argument with or against the statement. I'm sure they don't give a hoot which side you argue. For the other essay they give you a prompt that's something like "Mr. Jones owns a small business and thinks he should open a new store because of x, y, and z. Some consumer report said yada yada, and he's heard that blah blah." You analyze Mr. Jones' argument by saying things like "That consumer report only takes into account blah blah" or "that evidence is anecdotal." It's really not bad. Take a look at the Princeton Review for some more insight... it also has good vocab lists if you want to boost your verbal score.

I figure MFA programs don't care how I did on the math section:o)

-Banyon


wilmabluekitty
Wilma Weant Dague

Oct 8, 2006, 12:19 PM

Post #78 of 357 (6780 views)
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Re: [Banyon] Pay Attention to grad school requirements! [In reply to] Can't Post

  
Yeah, I figure I can only do worse this time. My verbal was so high last time that it must have been a fluke, while the logic and math were reasonable only because I studied like mad. I might brush up on those but I don't think anyone cares how high they are.


(This post was edited by wilmabluekitty on Oct 8, 2006, 12:23 PM)


Glinda Bamboo


Oct 11, 2006, 10:54 AM

Post #79 of 357 (6729 views)
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Re: the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, so I know most MFA programs barely glance at the GRE scores, and it's usually only the graduate school's requirement. But I'm wondering just how horrible your scores would have to be to be turned down by the graduate school. I'm sure this varies from school to school, but just curious if anyone has a ballpark.

For example, I'm taking the GRE very soon and would be satisfied with a score as low as 500 for math because I am just that horrible (and terrified of) math. I've been practicing a lot but I'm not showing much improvement. My verbal score should not be a problem at all, but I'm worried I'll panic at the test center and get like a 450 on the math and the graduate school will consider that too low for acceptance. Any thoughts?


v1ctorya


Oct 11, 2006, 11:14 AM

Post #80 of 357 (6726 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

My theory is this - I'm often told the Math section on the current GRE is a joke (from colleges, and yeah, I went to a conference on GRE stuff for the place I teach at. Really, the math is baby stuff, half the reason why they are relaunching the test. The other half is due to cheating). A high percentage of people get an 800 on the Math, I got well over 700 on the math with very little review and that only put me in the 80th percentile, or something silly like that. This from a film/english major.

Some schools tell you what you need to get. The GRE's are for the grad school, not the writing program. If the grad school doesn't accept your scores, and the writing program doesn't feel like pushing for you, you're out.

Call the grad school and see what they want you to get, the minimum requirements. The verbal section is harder than the math (per the percentages, as in, a 600 verbal is around the 90th percentile), but pick up the Barron's and you should do fine. And the writing portion is writing. You do poorly on that, it might be an indicator not just to the grad school, but the writing program itself.

All in all, don't obsess but don't push it to the side either.

Aim for at LEAST a 500-550 verbal, very low for an English Major, but I think the average is around 450 or so, which, IMHO, is really too low. Math you want higher, or at least on par points wise. 550-600.

These are my opinions, BTW. I of course encourage everyone to aim higher.


Aubrie


Oct 11, 2006, 12:34 PM

Post #81 of 357 (6717 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Glinda - don't stress the GREs. First of all, my practice test scores for math (from the ETS site) were considerably lower than my actual score. I think I actually laughed out loud in the testing center when my scores popped up on the screen (!). The best thing I did for myself in terms if the math section was sit in the public library for about 3 hours before the test, and do as many problems as I could beforehand. I have no ability to really retain equations, concepts, etc. - so it was really important that everything was as fresh as possible when I took the test. This REALLY, REALLY helped.

The worst thing I did was drink a Red Bull about 45 minutes prior to the test. I do not recommend this, unless you perform better with shaky hands and sweat dripping from your forehead.

As for the schools? I have a hard time imagining a school dinging you for having a less than exceptional math score. I'm sure we have current or post-MFAers on this site that can attest to their sh*tty scores, but good schools. (ahem...cough...cough...anyone?). The only time I can see that happpening is if like V1c said, the CW department doesn't have it in them to push for you, and then... well? Ya probably don't want to be at that school anyways.


Glinda Bamboo


Oct 11, 2006, 1:09 PM

Post #82 of 357 (6712 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Aubrie. I know there is nothing to do but practice and take the test and see what happens. And Victoria, I'm sure the math section is a joke to most normal people, but I don't think I ever learned how to do math right in the first place. :) I've been in the mid-700s for verbal and in the 500-540 range for math on the practice tests. And I have to sweat and stress to get that 500 on the math right now. While I imagine the math section is absolutely laughable for someone going to grad school for, say, statistics (or even anyone who had a solid math background in high school and college) I am just not in the place to get a 600 on the math right now. But I'm working on it and practicing.

I guess there's nothing left to do but keep studying until I take the test. Then I can either come here and cry about my low math score, celebrate, or say nothing at all (that would indicate I flopped so hard I'm embarrassed to reveal the scores). Wish me luck!


Aubrie


Oct 11, 2006, 1:19 PM

Post #83 of 357 (6711 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Glinda - if you're scoring in the 700's for verbal, I think you will be fiiiiiiine.
And don't doubt yourself on the math scores. Seriously. Because I did get a 600... and my practice tests were coming in at like...500 on a good day. I'm a terrible math student. Don't psyche yourself out. The practice questions were much harder than the actual test.

I bet you'll surprise yourself.


sibyline


Oct 11, 2006, 2:48 PM

Post #84 of 357 (6700 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

relax. you're fine. they don't care as long as you don't really really suck, which you don't.


v1ctorya


Oct 12, 2006, 9:24 AM

Post #85 of 357 (6664 views)
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Re: [sibyline] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

What Aubrie said. I scored a lot higher on the real exam than on the practice one. And the more you stress, the worse (in my opinion) you'll do. Relax, drink citrus the day of (unless you have GERD), dress in layers, etc. etc.


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Oct 13, 2006, 12:07 PM

Post #86 of 357 (6626 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Some graduate schools (OSU comes to mind) have a minimum total score for acceptances, but I've never heard of it going any higher than 1200 or 1250. If you can get a 700 verbal you don't need to worry about the math.


Glinda Bamboo


Oct 15, 2006, 3:34 PM

Post #87 of 357 (6595 views)
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Re: [GDClark] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, I took the test and I did fine. Thank god. Now the most unpleasant aspects of the application process (sending out all the info for LORs and taking the GRE) are over for me. Of course, I kind of bombed the verbal part of the GRE. I did get over 600 (barely) but my score was way lower than my practice tests. I broke 500 for the math (phew) and while my overall score is not very impressive, I'm sure it won't be a barrier for an MFA program. I didn't even crack 1200 overall, which is kind of lousy, but I think I'm fine. Thank god I can put that behind me. And thank god I didn't totally tank and have to pay that corrupt ETS corporation another $130.

Good luck to anyone else taking the GRE.


JKicker
Jonathan

Oct 16, 2006, 1:15 AM

Post #88 of 357 (6564 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Glinda, congrats for getting that behind you! The GRE is next on my "to do" list, how long and how hard did you have to study and how long has it been since undergrad for you?

Anyone else who would like to chime in on this is welcome, as well:)

I'm trying to use as much time as possible on my manuscript so just wondering how much time I should alot for studying.


Glinda Bamboo


Oct 16, 2006, 2:16 PM

Post #89 of 357 (6536 views)
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Re: [JKicker] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

JKicker, I don't think anyone knows how much you'll need to study...depends on what you know. :) I'd recommend starting as early as possible and studying slowly and steadily throughout the weeks/months before you take the GRE. I bought a study book and started reading it a few months ago, but didn't actually start studying hardcore until about 2 weeks ago. And since I know NOTHING of math (it's been almost a decade since I had a math class) I basically had to start from scratch in that department. I crammed and got frustrated and was exhausted from studying so much math in such a short amount of time. It sucked. I ultimately wasn't 100% prepared for the test, but I refused to pay the ridiculous $60 or whatever to reschedule, so I went through with it. I wish I had been more prepared, though; I would have done better on both sections.

I thought the verbal would be no problem; I was testing in the 700s and doing fine. So eventually I abandoned studying verbal at all in order to bring up my math score (I was testing in the 300's and 400's for quantitative, so I was understandably in a panic). Now that it's all over, I'm relieved I'm done but also unhappy with my overall score. The verbal was about 100 points lower than I expected. Still over 600, but my score is kind of lame.

Anyway, I know it's way, way more important to focus on my writing sample right now, so that's what I'm doing. I'd suggest preparing for the GRE as much as you need to, but not at the detriment of your writing.

Though I wonder -- if the MFA department at Cornell wants you based on your writing, will the grad school balk at a score under 1200?


sibyline


Oct 16, 2006, 4:50 PM

Post #90 of 357 (6516 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard it straight from a member of the admissions committee that the faculty at Cornell don't even look at GRE scores until after they've decided who to accept. I doubt it's going to be a problem. I'm a big ole nerd who got high scores, so I unfortunately can't use my personal experience in this case.


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Oct 16, 2006, 6:57 PM

Post #91 of 357 (6499 views)
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Re: [sibyline] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

The 1200 score I mentioned was from OSU specifically. I don't even think every grad schools has a concrete number.


muttonfish


Oct 19, 2006, 8:02 PM

Post #92 of 357 (6435 views)
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Re: [GDClark] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just took the GRE. Did not study at all. Proud (sarcasm) to say I achieved a 540/540. After reading everything I really do not see the point in taking it again. I graduated from a good University. Have an english gpa at 3.4. Have strong letters of rec from two professors and one published author. Two stories that I feel comfortable with submitting. I just dont see how memorizing some vocabulary lists and high school math equations should determine whether or not you're gonna be accepted. If you got it, then you got it. Good luck everyone


(This post was edited by muttonfish on Oct 19, 2006, 8:03 PM)


Aubrie


Oct 20, 2006, 12:24 AM

Post #93 of 357 (6415 views)
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Re: [muttonfish] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't stress the GREs unless you are looking for one of the more competitive teaching assistanships.
Otherwise, as we all repeat like a mantra around these parts - it's all about the manuscript.
Now at least you can have a drink and know that you're all finished with the silly test.


kevin82


Oct 20, 2006, 2:49 PM

Post #94 of 357 (6379 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

I myself am a test-taking tyro, and was not very punctilious when it came to the GRE’s lachrymose vocabulary section, but the whole matter seems to obfuscate the real issue, which is our creative writing, not our ability to lucubrate. Sure, some graduate schools are obdurate and want us to aver ourselves by showing we have no paucity of volubility, even if it is perfunctory, but don’t forget: we are not sedulous scholars -- we are raffish artists, and although this may sound like perfidious sophistry, I think this gives us the right to be contumacious (though not recreant!) when it comes to a simple vocabulary test. But let’s not prevaricate: even though low test scores will not ameliorate one’s chances of acceptance, they will not pillory you for it.

As a great man once said, “Bird, bird, bird. Bird is the word.”


JKicker
Jonathan

Oct 21, 2006, 12:44 PM

Post #95 of 357 (6340 views)
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Re: [kevin82] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

that deserves a "haha"

haha


plumagemour


Oct 23, 2006, 12:39 PM

Post #96 of 357 (6272 views)
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gre [In reply to] Can't Post

i was planning on taking the gre the first month of novermber. does that sound too late to anyone? my first wave of deadlines are on dec 15. i was thinking a little over a month would be plenty of time to send the scores. but it's ets; i feel more comfortable taking chances with the devil. any advices/ ideas from past experience???


bighark


Oct 23, 2006, 1:03 PM

Post #97 of 357 (6267 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] gre [In reply to] Can't Post

The important thing with grad school applications is to submit your writing sample and application fee
on time. Everything else is negotiable.

If I were you, I would contact the schools with the the mid December deadlines and give them a heads up about your GRE. If it's absolutley critical that your scores arrive before the deadline date, at least you know what you have to work with. In most cases, though, they should accommodate you. Honestly. The schools that play the hard line with GRE scores are few and far between.


plumagemour


Oct 23, 2006, 3:03 PM

Post #98 of 357 (6254 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] gre [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for the advice bighark! also i meant to type week, not month, that is, i'll be taking the test the first week of november.


Glinda Bamboo


Oct 23, 2006, 8:35 PM

Post #99 of 357 (6218 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] gre [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you'll be fine, plumagemour. I just checked the GRE website today and it says they send the scores within about 10 days after they get your request. So even if you didn't contact GRE to send the scores by the beginning of December, you should still be cool.

Of course, all you need to do is list those early deadline schools as part of your four free reports the day you take the GRE. That's what I did. They should definitely get there on time.


mediano tzu


Oct 24, 2006, 12:30 AM

Post #100 of 357 (6200 views)
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Re: [kevin82] the lowest possible score? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I can't believe that almost everyone on here did better than a 700 on the verbal section. I only got a 620, but that was due to nervousness and the fact that I more than once chose the wrong answer because I was trying to go too fast, and of course you can't go back. In retrospect, I should have taken a practice test or two.

I have a record low as far as math goes, with a 370. That's right--370. I haven't had a math class in 10 years, and that was highschool algebra 1. I don't think it helped my cause that I didn't study at all. I figured that I'd have to spend so much time just to get to a mediocre level, that it wasn't even worth trying.

So . . .am I screwed?

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