GRE (graduate record exam) Q's

hi. anyone here have any experiences to tell about when you sat for the GRE? such is a prerequisite for grad school stateside. seems like it is just a $115 piddling formality. any thoughts?

I got the impression from a professor at my old school, who I think was pretty knowlegeable about these things, that a high enough score could get you into a good school.

I also got the impression that many schools use the sum of the verbal and quantitative scores, although some combine the verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores.

Depends on what you want to study/do.

If you need/want a PhD from a top 10 program in your field - and you don’t have an “in” or haven’t studied with a big dog in that department, preferably one who also carries a big stick with grad admissions - then you better hit a home run on the GRE. Hit a home run on the GRE as well as hold a great resume, academic and otherwise (likely).

If you already know Podunk U. will do you fine, or you just don’t care which school writes the checks for and generally supports your research, then the GRE may be a “piddling waste.”

Not only that, but it’s not unheard of, though rare, that entrance to some programs is granted without any GRE scores at all (e.g., if you as an undergrad get published or work with the big dog I mentioned above).

Rarely, though, is the GRE something to be taken lightly - unless you take your post-grad career goals just as lightly.*


*–From one whose 730 GMAT wasn’t sufficient to yield entrance to any PhD program [finance], except a handshake entrance offerred by the big dog of a Big 12 program that shall remain as nameless as its clout is toothless in the wars of American academe. I bought and consumed 2 workbooks (Princeton Review and one other) as well as the official GMAT study guide before I sat for the exam; that means in effect that I was underprepared for the rigors of a CAT (computer-aided test). I really think that if I had coughed up a couple grand to sit through one of those Princeton-tutored crunch classes then maybe I’d be studying at Toronto or Florida today. I’m extrapolating my experience to that of a GRE one, so YMMV. (most finance wannabes score 750+ on the GMAT, btw) (that’s out of 800 possible, btw) (so there)

I got a free ride on my first MA based on GRE scores. Some scholarship or fellowship programs will base the amount of aid or opportunities you receive on this score, so it’s worth doing well and spending the money to take it if you think that might be worthwhile to you.

I did well on everything, except the quantitative portion. The logic was a piece of cake, but now I understand they’ve replaced it with some kind of writing segment. I hear it

wow. that was different. three parts: words, math and essay writing. they give them to you in random order. one is bogus- it doesn’t count. when you think you are finished with the test one of the sections will reappear again: this is the real test- the one so assiduously completed earlier is for nothing but the company’s research. glad i paid so they could get research during my testing.

the math fried my brain as i haven’t used such in a long time. toiled through the exam portion well enough but when math came up again as the “gotcha” at the end again i was fried.

seems alot of folks take the exam multiple times. now i understand why.

I hate stadardized tests. Always have – always will. If you want to bypass the GRE altogether – go to grad school in the UK. Most schools (including Cambridge, Oxford, and LSE) do not require the GRE. The only exception is for MBA programs (which still require the GMAT).

A friend of mine here went the UK route to get her MBA in 2002. About 3 months before she graduated, the Financial Times had an article showing average pay of a UK graduate vs US graduate. The UK grad was shown getting about half the pay of a US grad. And that’s how it’s gone for her back here. Her college classmates who got their MBAs in the US are making about double her salary. No, she’s not pleased.

A friend of mine here went the UK route to get her MBA in 2002. About 3 months before she graduated, the Financial Times had an article showing average pay of a UK graduate vs US graduate. The UK grad was shown getting about half the pay of a US grad. And that’s how it’s gone for her back here. Her college classmates who got their MBAs in the US are making about double her salary. No, she’s not pleased.[/quote]

I agree with you 100 percent. For MBA, the US is the only place to go. UK universities are still light years behind their American bretheren when it comes to funding, research, and private sector interaction. It is changing rapidly in the UK, but there are many years of neglect to account for.

That may hold true for an MBA or MA from the US vs. the UK, but I doubt it’s the same case for PhD programs. A PhD from Oxbridge holds considerable clout here (or anywhere).

As to the GRE, if the other components of your entrance package: undergrad grades, work experience, admissions letter, and letters of recommendation, are all good, then the GRE will simply be one of several factors in the selection process. If those other elements are lacking, then you will likely need a very high (2100-2400) score on the GRE.

The GRE is not the be all and end all of getting into grad school. Admissions teams want to see a well-rounded package, not just a standardized test score. Of course, there are plenty of cash-strapped schools who will grant admission regardless. For them, I doubt a high GRE score will be required.

the 630 on the verbal was ok. the math…oh the horror of 500. how shall i go on living?

Your percentage marks (where you placed in relation to other test takers) are also important.

Many (if not most) people in Taiwan score a perfect 800 on quantitative and find it extremely easy. But their verbal scores tend to be quite low.

Nevertheless, I know two Taiwanese women who scored 2300 total on the test.

How about the GRE subject tests?
I did two of these here in Taiwan and both seemed to be ridiculously easy (well, the subjects were English Lit. and Sociology…)

Are they actually useful, or is the general test in held higher regard?

I also looked at the Education test- the guiding principle for that one is to use your own experience as a teacher to pick out the ridiculously wrong answer, and fill in that oval- and when in doubt, simply go with the most politically correct one.

get 2 gre books from the library and study it for a few weeks, I did and did well. The GRE is actually stupid because its a standardized test, if u study the testing methodology, and the questions used (Princeton review) etc. books have many sample questions, can also download sample software, can score quite well…

But my opinion doesn’t count, if U wanna get into the top skules, study and do well on the GRE. It might be a good thing if your transcript sucks :slight_smile:

Many post-grad degree programs, or at least ones in linguistics, since that’s where I want to do my grad work, require a certain score on the GRE (especially in verbal) just to be considered for their program as a basic requirement.

As previously mentioned, the importance of the General GRE is highly dependent on your field of study. In the so-called “hard sciences,” the General Exam has little bearing on one’s admission into graduate school—even for the most prestigious programs. For these programs, General GRE scores are by far the least important part of the application dossier. A large part of the reason they are included is because of university-wide standards. Therefore, a prospective applicant must meet the university’s minimal scoring standards, but for admission into the particular program, by how much the minimum is exceeded is inconsequential.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. The quantitative and analytical portions of the exam are much too simple for the type of person who would be applying to “hard sciences” programs.
  2. The type of verbal skills tested are a bit beyond what is necessary for someone to be successful in such a program.

With that said, I studied for the verbal like a madman and was rewarded with an excellent score. I viewed the verbal as the only opportunity for me to impress anyone with my General GRE, although I doubt it mattered much.

On the other hand, the Subject GREs can be tremendously important. Most of the programs to which I applied required that I take at least one of these exams. I took the Computer Sciences exam, and I thought it was a very difficult test.

A friend with poor grades coughed up a triple 800 on the GRE and got into a graduate program at Stanford. After he got there the dean told him they needed to let him in and check him out purely because of the score. This was for a technical major I forget which.

I took the GRE about eight months ago, I had already completed the requirements for my Masters, but they would not let me graduate without it. I did not feel the test was necesarily difficult, I just have issues taking multiple choice, standardized tests. I did use the study guides and took a few of the sample tests before I went in - that was very beneficial becuase I knew what to expect.

Interesting rankings…NTU ranked something like 121st.

Britain wins eight places in world list of 50 best universities
By Tony Halpin

OXFORD and Cambridge are among the world’s top ten universities, according to a new global ranking published today.

They were fifth and sixth respectively in the league table of the world’s 200 best universities. Harvard, which boasts an endowment of nearly $23billion (

And speaking of the increasing American influence on British higher education:

LONDON, England (Reuters) – In its 183-year history, the august Oxford Union debating society has heard the wisdom of Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Mother Theresa.

But until now, its members have yet to hear from anyone with quite the same resume as Ron Jeremy, star of 1,700 adult films, including “Bang Along With Ron.”

“As far as I know it is the first porn star to address the Oxford Union. I’m 99 percent sure of that,” Peter Cardwell, spokesman for one of the English-speaking world’s most respected debating societies, told Reuters.

Jeremy, who claims to have slept with more than 4,000 women, will address the union on Wednesday, joining countless British prime ministers, three U.S. presidents and political figures from the Dalai Lama to Malcolm X in its archival guest list.