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Verbal or Quant GRE?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 swisnieski

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 08:48 PM

Which matters more for doctoral programs in psychology -- verbal GRE scores or quantitative GRE scores?

Obviously they're both important, but I had always thought the latter was given more weight on account of the emphasis on the quantitative analysis of data in graduate level work. But lately I've seen some evidence that some schools tend to look more closely at verbal scores. For instance, Northwestern University's web site lists only an average Verbal score (no reference is made to quant scores). Likewise, at least two of the professors at grad schools I've contacted re: admissions have told me that, while they don't have a cut-off or anything of the sort, they do prefer "strong verbal scores" (again no mention made of quant scores). I suppose this makes all kinds of sense -- the ability to communicate clearly in writing is even more important than well-executed data analysis in psych research.

This is a source of concern for me, since I'm applying mostly to top 20 programs and my verbal score is markedly higher than my quant score in terms of percentile.
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#2 alexis

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 09:43 PM

I don't know the answer, but I've been wondering the same thing.
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#3 cheesethunder

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 09:53 PM

I don't know the answer, but I've been wondering the same thing.



i think both
haha. psyc kids should be flawless.
but i actually heard quant because of the stats invovled in reserach........yet there is lots of writing too for a phd!
idont think itll be a deal breaker unless you have a 400Q and 700V
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#4 liszt85

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 06:27 AM

I had a 610V and 780Q. I think that was a decent score. I think that the quant is the more important score. Technical writing skills are not reflected by the GRE verbal score! If you score 800 on the verbal, its more likely that you'd struggle with technical writing (which requires you to avoid flowery language)! I'm just exaggerating..but you get the idea.
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#5 iopsych

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 06:07 AM

From what I have heard a very strong score stands out on either end. But really strong quant. scores are preferred, at least in I/O and HF psych. which is a very methods and statistics oriented type program. Perhaps different concentrations prefer different types of applicants, but I/O and HF seem to really prefer strong quant. scores 700+ type.
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#6 profound_g

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:07 PM

Yep. Both. That is unlike in some other case where one of the scores doesn't even get a glance, here there's no such strong preference.

Oh and

I had a 610V and 780Q. I think that was a decent score. I think that the quant is the more important score. Technical writing skills are not reflected by the GRE verbal score! If you score 800 on the verbal, its more likely that you'd struggle with technical writing (which requires you to avoid flowery language)! I'm just exaggerating..but you get the idea.


Nice rationalizing :P
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#7 socialpsych

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:44 PM

I too heard that quant was more important, but I didn't get the impression that either score was a very important part of the application, as long as you are not far below the program's average.
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#8 psydd

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:24 PM

do you think programs care more about your actual score, or your percentile rank?

and do you think a strong writing score can compensate for a lower verbal score?

Edited by psydd, 03 January 2010 - 05:25 PM.

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#9 jlloyd87

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:10 PM

From what I have been told, the quant is much more important due to the stats aspect. I am sure that every school can be different. A prof from A&M-Commerce has said that most schools won't come out and say that quant is more important because they don't want people blowing off the verbal. I am just hoping that a 750-Q and a 520-V is enough to get me in somewhere.
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#10 moralresearcher

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

do you think programs care more about your actual score, or your percentile rank?

and do you think a strong writing score can compensate for a lower verbal score?


I think both are important, but depending on the people who are also applying, having a (seemingly) good score doesn't mean much if your percentile rank isn't very high, something that is common for quant scores because all engineering/math people tend to score 700+, which postively skews data and affects your percentile rank. On the opposite end of the spectrum, few people do better than 700 on the verbal, so lower scores there have better percentile ranks (for example, I scored 70 points higher on quant than verbal but was ranked 20% higher on verbal).

Also, from what I understand a strong writing score doesn't help you much--AW is really only looked at if it is exceptionally high (perfect) or really bad.
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