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About rscneurozombie

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    2013 Fall
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  1. All these comments are great. I would only add this: A graduate student can only get so much money in total (stipend + tuition reimbursement), which is typically set at a certain limit (unless you get an additional fellowship or "moving/signing bonus"). You'll have to find out if those 5th year students have lower tuition or if this "raise" does not apply to incoming students. They are paying for your school and living expenses because you are an employee that will WORK for them after some classes and rotations. You are not getting a "scholarship" based on merit. Start thinking of
  2. I agree with beakerbreaker: From my experience, this will mainly hurt you in the initial screening of applications. With funding tight, schools want to bring in students with GRE and GPA levels that will allow them to apply and get fellowships and external funding. They get hundreds to thousands of applications for maybe 5-30 positions in a program (this varies wildly). They have to somehow set the applications in order for review by the committee. They usually do this with GRE score and GPA (one or the other, or in some average/combination). After they rank the apps they start review
  3. Check with your school as to your GPA. A 4.0 scale GPA is, by definition, A = 4.0. An A at your school is also a 4.0. Therefore I would be inclined to list my grade as X.X/4.0. I believe the A+ is a tradeoff for the fact an A- will no longer give you a 4.0. So in total your gpa will most likely balance out the + and - grades. It does give incentive to try a little harder to get to that next level, though! Many schools have transferred to the +/- scale, but previously schools did not differentiate between an A and A- or A+. I would double check with your school, they may have more
  4. Visits were a must, and how visiting programs I ended up not being very interested in helped form my understanding of what I really wanted. They were not necessarily a waste of my time, as they helped me figure out which program was really the right choice for me. And how shitty rankings actually represent a program. They can help you look for and rank programs prior to interviews, but should be one of the last items you consider when making choices. Also, if you didn't get in this time, don't give up. Just make a better, more concerted effort next year!
  5. I understand waiting to make a decision. It is our future, and that can be scary. But you can't really be torn equally between SEVEN programs/offers. If all 7 offers were so great that you really can't decide, eliminate one and roll a die. There must be a few of those that he knew he wouldn't take. It is great to take time and think, but other people are also waiting down the line. Hold on to a few offers and let the others go. Then from the ones you are seriously considering, work towards a decision. If you are waiting to hear from a program, or waiting for a better offer, that
  6. You seriously waited this long to reply to your other 6 offers? Might not want to tout the fact that you hogged 6 offers for weeks or months at the cost of others on the waitlist or hoping to hear from one of those programs before making a decision to attend elsewhere. Take another read over your post and see how conceited it sounds.
  7. Definitely take practice tests and get the score from that. It might not give you the percentile, but you can always match your score to the current percentile listed by ETS on their website. The percentile is a weighted score, and is determined by the scores obtain by your peers. This makes percentiles a "moving" target that can change depending on test questions and how well others do on it. Make sure to read about the scoring and how the test is structured. I know you have been practicing since January, but the suggestions others are posting here will take more time, especially to a
  8. Are you serious about practicing for this? You cannot take a few practice sections and expect to improve after a week. Seems what you are looking for is a specific skill you can pick up that will make you instantly better. It doesn't exist. I spent months practicing. While I agree that your quant score is the most important, all scores will get to your schools of interest. Many top schools get hundreds of applicants for a few positions. How do they decide the order of applications? Many will use some weighing of the GRE and GPA. I don't think your verbal GRE score will hurt after t
  9. I wanted to quickly give my two cents. First, you are thinking that a tech job in a lab not directly related to your interests is not worth the time. While they might not pay as much as your current job, being in the lab full time for a few years will do wonders. Whatever you learn about neuro, wet lab techniques, experimental design, computational/engineering, etc, will be easily relatable to whatever you do later and will show admissions that you are serious about science. It may also make you more successful during grad school.
  10. Would say only this: Make sure you are serious about research and understand what research really is. Get the experience. It is not the same as med school, which is what the others were trying to say. It is a DIFFERENT beast, harder and easier in many ways. Make sure to spend 1-2 years at least in a lab full time. More would certainly help.
  11. 1. How do I get involved in research with very limited experience? This seems like an uphill battle. This IS an uphill battle. Half the battle is getting into the lab (and hopefully getting paid for it). Labs generally take free labor though, so volunteering works also, and that may be a step to getting a job in a lab. With your low level of research as an undergrad be prepared to spend at least a full year or two in a lab (about full time). DO NOT think that research experience is just "a plus". It is the core of what most admissions look for nowadays. 2. How to I make myself
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