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bennyprof


Oct 8, 2007, 6:11 PM

Post #201 of 357 (7151 views)
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Re: [Rambler] GRE study books? [In reply to] Can't Post

I used Kaplan's book to brush up on some writing strategies (I worked on this part the least, though, and it was the worst of my scores -- definitely look at a lot of sample essays, because there are some specific things they're looking for), a few math concepts and the word list in the back. The edition I bought came with a free online study calendar to help you get organized, tons of tutorials and a handful of practice tests. None of which I used.

The best preparation, by far, is the CD-ROM ETS sends you after you register. It has two practice tests on it that are exactly like the actual GRE, complete with immediate score feedback, which gives you an idea about what you need the most work on. Definitely take those. Getting comfortable with the CAT format ahead of time should also alleviate at least some of your test-day nervousness.

All told, I only spent around 10 hours total studying for the test -- over the course of the two weeks before I took it -- and I still did fine. If I had it to do over again, though, I'd study latin roots and word lists until my eyes fell out. A 700+ verbal would've been nice, and perfectly achievable with a decent amount of studying.


bennyprof


Oct 8, 2007, 6:16 PM

Post #202 of 357 (7148 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] GRE study books? [In reply to] Can't Post

...that said, I'd also like to repeat what's been stated many times previously... don't let studying for the GRE take precedence over working on your writing sample. If you don't get into the program based on the strength of your sample, your scores won't even be glanced at.


alishein


Oct 9, 2007, 1:29 PM

Post #203 of 357 (7115 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] GRE study books? [In reply to] Can't Post

The CD-Rom from ETS came 6 weeks after I took the test. And, I signed up for the test about 5 weeks in advance. So, unless you can get a copy of the CD from someone you know who has it -- I would have a backup study tool. Just in case.


bennyprof


Oct 9, 2007, 4:26 PM

Post #204 of 357 (7096 views)
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Re: [alishein] GRE study books? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, bummer. Mine arrived about five days after I signed up. Anyway, I'm pretty sure you can order it from the website for free if, for whatever reason, it doesn't get to you within a week or so. But yeah, a backup plan is never a bad idea.


chitown


Oct 11, 2007, 9:14 PM

Post #205 of 357 (7044 views)
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Re: GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Quick question-

Two of my schools have an application due date of December 15 (Cornell, Irvine).

I am taking retaking the GRE on 11/17. Should I...

a) Send my (less than stellar) GRE scores from the test I took a couple years ago. It's not worth risking the schools not getting my newer test scores in time, and thus never reviewing my application.

or

b) Wait and assume that's enough time for the scores to get to the schools. The better scores could really help my application.

Thoughts? Thanks :)


bennyprof


Oct 11, 2007, 11:21 PM

Post #206 of 357 (7029 views)
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Re: [chitown] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Quick question-

Two of my schools have an application due date of December 15 (Cornell, Irvine).

I am taking retaking the GRE on 11/17. Should I...

a) Send my (less than stellar) GRE scores from the test I took a couple years ago. It's not worth risking the schools not getting my newer test scores in time, and thus never reviewing my application.

or

b) Wait and assume that's enough time for the scores to get to the schools. The better scores could really help my application.

Thoughts? Thanks :)



First of all, Irvine doesn't want GRE scores. I spoke to the English department secretary on the phone and asked her if I'd gain any advantage whatsoever by sending my scores, even though they're technically not required. She said, "No. Don't send them." So. There's that.

As far as Cornell is concerned: send them your old scores if you're afraid your new ones won't get there on time. I think you'll be okay, though... ETS is pretty good about sending them out within the 10-15 day window. But yeah, it's better to be sure and turn in a complete application -- even with less than stellar scores -- than risk automatic dismissal. You can always send them your updated scores later. I doubt they'll even look at any apps until after the break anyway, and I don't think they'd be violently opposed to you sending them a little late (assuming they already have your old ones on file.)

Remember, the writing school doesn't care about your scores. At all. Only after you're accepted to the program will they pass along your transcripts and test scores to the actual grad school to see if you pass its minimum requirements. And even if you don't, the program director can step in and get you a waver (as long as they're not too too low.) As far as funding goes -- with Cornell it's irrelevant. Everyone who's accepted gets the same tuition waver and generous stipend; no need to fret over competing for fellowships, TAs and whatnot. Hope that helps.

Good luck!


(This post was edited by bennyprof on Oct 11, 2007, 11:22 PM)


HopperFu


Oct 12, 2007, 10:31 AM

Post #207 of 357 (7008 views)
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Re: [chitown] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you're probably okay waiting. How long does ETS say it takes to get grades out? I think that most schools read writing samples first, and then, when they have a list of their top ten or top twenty or whatever, start digging into the files and looking at all the supporting documentation....
Unless you really, really, really screwed the pooch on your first round, it won't make much of a difference, and when they send your new scores they'll also send your old. I guess that you could also just send your old ones - if you're worried about not being considered because your app isn't complete - and hope that your new ones get there before anybody reads that far into your file.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Oct 12, 2007, 11:05 AM

Post #208 of 357 (7003 views)
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Re: [chitown] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm with the "don't worry about it" faction. What I might do, if you really want to be careful about it, is to send a note along with your completed applications that states that you took the GREs on Nov. 17 and that your scores will arrive to the school as soon as ETS releases them. Or if you happen to get a report to you in the mail before you send out your applications, send a photocopy of that as a sort of "unofficial" GRE scores thing with a note that mentions that the official scores are forthcoming.

GENERALLY, schools want all parts of the application that you can absolutely control by the due date. They seem to make allowances for GRE score reports coming a trifle late, so long as you took them reasonably before the app deadline, and they seem to make allowances for recommendation letters that come a bit late.

And regardless of whether a school has a 15 December or a 1 January due date, no admissions committee is going to really read an application before mid-January; mid-December is finals hell for professors, and immediately after is holidays. Sometimes schools will get going and make sure that all applications are 100% complete at some point in January and take care of the filing, but usually all of this is done BY the end of February at the latest.

You have some wiggle room!


alishein


Oct 12, 2007, 1:49 PM

Post #209 of 357 (6987 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Last year I took the GREs the day before Thanksgiving. I had no problem getting the scores to Cornell in time for the Dec. 15th due date. After the test is over (and you've chosen to see your scores and have them count) they allow you to fill in this form to send out your 4 free score reports. I made sure to list Cornell as one of them and they got there in plenty of time. I would say - go with the new scores. Don't worry about it. Also, fyi -- when you fill out that form after the test - they give you the school's GRE codes. So you don't have to look them up yourself before the test.


chitown


Oct 12, 2007, 8:01 PM

Post #210 of 357 (6955 views)
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Re: GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks all!


mr.shankly


Oct 17, 2007, 11:34 AM

Post #211 of 357 (6899 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Quick question -- how many scores are you allowed to send out on the test day? I'm assuming ETS will send a few for free (and by free, I mean the $140 I've already paid will cover it.)

I lied, here's another -- I'm a bit confused about the methods of sending scores -- phone, fax, mail. I read that opting for mail was a good way to go, but what does that mean exactly? Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.


hamlet3145


Oct 17, 2007, 11:43 AM

Post #212 of 357 (6896 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they give you four "free" test reports that they will send out.


bennyprof


Oct 17, 2007, 11:44 AM

Post #213 of 357 (6896 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

You get four freebies on test day. Don't need a school code or anything -- you just select them from their database via a scroll down menu.

Not sure about your second question.


HopperFu


Oct 17, 2007, 11:46 AM

Post #214 of 357 (6894 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm a bit confused about the methods of sending scores -- phone, fax, mail. I read that opting for mail was a good way to go, but what does that mean exactly? Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.

I _think_ that this actually refers to how you can order your scores, and that there is - surprise - an extra fee for whichever options are easier; I'm pretty sure that all scores are sent via the mail and that is how schools require them.


mr.shankly


Oct 19, 2007, 12:02 AM

Post #215 of 357 (6835 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the clarification. The GRE should post on their web site: "Warning: You will need a second job in order to pay for this bullshit."

I've been taking practice tests and realize I do much better on the reading comprehension than the other verbal sections. I was wondering if anyone knew the weight of each section when it comes to scoring. (Yes, this is my wishing to find out the reading comp. is worth more than the other parts combined.)


bennyprof


Oct 19, 2007, 12:12 AM

Post #216 of 357 (6832 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Thanks for the clarification. The GRE should post on their web site: "Warning: You will need a second job in order to pay for this bullshit."

I've been taking practice tests and realize I do much better on the reading comprehension than the other verbal sections. I was wondering if anyone knew the weight of each section when it comes to scoring. (Yes, this is my wishing to find out the reading comp. is worth more than the other parts combined.)



Nobody knows ETS's actual formula when it comes to scoring. I suspect that each section (analogies, antonyms, reading comp) includes questions covering the entire range of difficulty, and that they're weighted accordingly. I doubt any one section is worth more than the others. But again, no one knows for sure.


Yugao


Oct 19, 2007, 9:24 AM

Post #217 of 357 (6815 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know for sure, but I ended up doing very well on the verbal section and consequently there were more reading comprehension questions than I expected. I think I had at least three sections of reading comprehension, and the passages were longer and more convoluted than the ones I had practiced with. They were all on scientific topics as well.

I actually found the reading comprehension section to be the most difficult, because I tend to overthink the answers. I could do analogies and antonyms all day though.


Rambler


Nov 2, 2007, 12:20 AM

Post #218 of 357 (6741 views)
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Re: [Yugao] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I took the GRE and (thanks to Kaplan) landed a 570 on math and 650 on verbal. I feel great about the writing part.
I studied hardcore for two weeks with that Kaplan book and took the book and online practice tests. At one point, I actually felt like I couldn't breathe in that hot, stuffy computer lab.
Just wanted to record my experience for posterity (and since I am keeping my application process on the DL--in real life--in case I don't get in anywhere).
Just had to share it somewhere.


seemingmeaning

e-mail user

Nov 2, 2007, 2:23 AM

Post #219 of 357 (6735 views)
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Re: [Rambler] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats, Rambler. I took the GRE's several weeks ago and, unfortunately, didn't do score so well. And I mean very, very badly. As I am not the best when taking standardized test, I need to write my stories and work equally as rigorous as I studied for that darn test. Ugh. Regardless, pat yourself on the back!


Raignn



Nov 2, 2007, 10:13 AM

Post #220 of 357 (6714 views)
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Re: [seemingmeaning] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't worry too much about it. I only got a 600 on the Verbal and was shocked when I only got a 4.5 on the essays. Nonetheless I'm not taking it again. I graduate from Purdue University with honors and I think that says more about my smarts and ability to take classes then some crap test that really just makes you memorize vocab.


mpagan


Nov 2, 2007, 12:57 PM

Post #221 of 357 (6690 views)
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Re: [Raignn] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm taking the test tomorrow and plan to play tic-tac-toe with the math.

The verbal - I studied some - took some practice tests - but at this point I know what I know.

Besides - I figured if the greater Graduate School departments have a burning need to know how I did in college algebra they can look at my transcript.

I put the time into my samples and statements of purpose and I have good recs - so - that's that - for the five schools that do want my GRE's -I've decided not to worry too much over that - If they like my writing and the way I present myself in my statements and what my references have to say - then the GRE shouldn't matter much to them, or the greater graduate department their a part of. I know, some have standards, but if I can't get into the school because of that - then their school is obviously the wrong place for me in the end.


mr.shankly


Nov 3, 2007, 2:07 AM

Post #222 of 357 (6635 views)
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Re: [mpagan] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm taking the test tomorrow as well. I've taken a few practice tests now and have repeatedly done better on the math than the verbal -- by about a 100pts. Each time, I've been shy of 600 in verbal. I'd like to say, "If I don't get it, then screw it," but really I'm thinking, "Oh, sweet Jesus, just let me get 600, please oh please."

Worse case scenario: I have to alter my list while drunkenly crying.
Best case scenario: I celebrate by high-fiving strangers while drunkenly crying.


bennyprof


Nov 3, 2007, 8:26 AM

Post #223 of 357 (6627 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

If it helps, everyone I've spoken to so far has told me that if you don't meet either the GRE or GPA requirements the CR department chair can step in and get you a waiver (which the grad school allows about 99% of the time). In other words, if they love your writing sample there's a good chance they'll let the other stuff slide. I don't think you'll need to alter your list, regardless. Good luck.


gmiller1122


Nov 3, 2007, 1:05 PM

Post #224 of 357 (6603 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's my (weird) situation:

A few years after earning a BA in English/Art, I took the GREs. It was 1994. Here are my scores: 510(v)/610(q)/650(a) -- I know, I should have gone into engineering or something....

In 1998, I was accepted to the MA (w/creative thesis) program at Binghamton. (I'm still not sure how I got in.) I learned a lot and did well, earning strong praise from my professors, especially in creative writing. After graduation, I spent a year as an adjunct, then was hired as a full-time English Instructor at a community college.

Six years and several hundred student essays later, and after earning tenure and a promotion, I took a semester off to stay home with my newborn son. I went back, but my heart wasn't in it anymore. So I resigned. I still teach there as an adjunct.

In the time since, I have enjoyed being a stay-at-home dad to our two children and have no interest at this point in going back to teach full-time. I just want to write. Over the years, I've revised my master's thesis project and begun a new novel, but feel as if I am writing in a vacuum (I live in the sticks). I have attended a few conferences, but I have difficulty keeping my writing at the top of the "to-do list." Therefore, I may be interested in having the structure and community an MFA program can offer. I just work better and faster when someone is expecting something of me. I am considering a low-residency MFA program, having just begun to research them.

That's a long explanation to ask this question:

Though I understand that MFA programs do not usually consider GRE scores, will my embarrassingly low GRE score from 13 years ago be a detriment? Despite my degrees and my work experience and my stellar writing sample (haha), will they glance at my GRE verbal score and suddenly say, "No way"? Should I retake it?

Thanks,
G


"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved." - Willam Jennings Bryan


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Nov 3, 2007, 1:18 PM

Post #225 of 357 (6600 views)
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Re: [gmiller1122] GREs and GPAs [In reply to] Can't Post

No worries if you're considering a low-residency MFA program. Most of them don't require GREs.

Ha! I took the GREs so long ago that I don't even remember what my score was!

I'm starting my first residency in December for a low-res MFA in creative writing. I can't wait to get there! :)

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com

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