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Averroes MD

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Averroes MD last won the day on August 12 2017

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About Averroes MD

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    Cambridge, MA
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    PhD, Islamic Studies

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  1. Like I said, I respect your view. Yes you are right that many people do try to memorize words using flash cards. But what I meant to say is that the yield of this is low and will result in a minimal score increase. In your case three points. As for the utility of the test my experience has been that intelligent people tend to score high on standardized testing throughout their lives. It’s not just testing how well you take the test but rather it is a measure of general intelligence. Again, I acknowledge that it’s an unpopular opinion. Lastly, I do think that an academic should have a large vocabulary and the GRE vocab bank is a good standard.
  2. I respect your view. In my view though it’s useful as one data point among many. An otherwise stellar applicant could still get in despite a lower score. Also I don’t think many people sit and memorize a bunch of words for the GRE. This is not an effective tactic anyways. Rather, people who score higher in this area tend to be those who read a lot over many long years. Moreover, these are words that an academic should be familiar with. Lastly, what’s wrong with a multiple choice exam? Seems pretty objective to me. I think there should be at least one purely objective metric with which to compare applicants.
  3. Not in philosophy, but I think the GRE and standardized testing in general provides one useful data point and accounts for variances in school grading as well as setting a floor for admission. The point about test prep is not really relevant, since you can buy a used test prep book for like five bucks. That's what I did. I think it's an unpopular opinion, but such test scores do correlate to intelligence.
  4. The issue is that commitment is something that waxes and wanes with time, so they want to see sustained commitment. It's easy to lose weight, but harder to keep it off. It took me four years of sustained commitment before they finally took a chance on me, and even then, I'm sure many programs still had their doubts. Also, age discrimination is a real thing. Lastly, I would say that I myself would not have accepted myself a few years ago, nor would I want to admit you as a PhD applicant at this point in time. Being a PhD student means you have a certain level of expertise in a field, not brand new to it. I understand your background in finance but I still think that this is different than the history of finance. But, I might be wrong on this, as I am in the study of religion, not history or finance! The flip side of this is that you can get accepted to a shiny Ivy League masters program and then use that as a stepping stone to an even better PhD program than what you might get into it now. Just a thought.
  5. I think you will need to get an MA first. This will be beneficial for you and them. You to make sure this is what you want. And them to make sure you’re a good fit for academia and also to show how serious you are. As someone with an MD, I will tell you that success in another career helps with admission to masters programs and hurts when it comes to PhD programs. A PhD is a long road and many people worry that someone with a successful higher paying job would just bail when the going gets tough. And this is in a career trajectory that already has so many students that fizzle out in their dissertation phase. This is not to to discourage you but only to encourage you to apply to masters programs as a stepping stone for the PhD.
  6. Your language skills are good. I recommend doing a masters to work on languages for a couple more years—maybe HDS? Also might want to study some French and German for reading as well. But overall good to see you are taking languages seriously.
  7. Thanks for your answer. Appreciate it.
  8. Is TA-ing the important part, or teaching experience? If one has the opportunity to teach at another university as opposed to TA-ing at one's own university, would this teaching as an adjunct be sufficient? Or is there a specific need for doing TA-ing during your PhD?
  9. The fact that you know a bit of French is good. Language requirements differ based on specialty. But, in general, you need to know about 2-3 source languages very well, and have at least reading proficiency in two modern languages of scholarship, such as French and German. However, if you have no source languages down, then you have a long way to go. These require years of effort, and you will already need to be at an advanced level in at least one of them (if not two) to get into a good PhD program. If you plan on going the academic route, I strongly suggest utilizing EVERY summer you have to do immersion studies, such as at Middlebury. I think 3-4 years is what is necessary to reach a decent level of proficiency in a source language to get into a PhD program (and then continue studying the language there "in house"), but that's only if you do it intensively and consistently throughout those years (and during every summer). Otherwise, it can take 4-6 years or longer. This is just my opinion and experience. Bottom line is that you need at least 3-4 years of intensive language study before you start the PhD. In my field of Islamic studies, for example, you can't do diddly if you don't read Arabic. MDiv and MTS are both great starting options for you, especially since funding can be generous. I think the MDiv will offer you more years and summers to study a source language, and will also be a better fall back option in case you don't go on to academia. Good luck!
  10. I agree with this post, and would want to warn against not taking the GRE seriously at all. You do need a decently good score, and a high score on verbal and writing would absolutely give you a little small boost to your application overall. This was certainly the case for me, coming in with a mixed undergraduate GPA due to initially being an engineering student before switching to the humanities. (Engineering GPA's are notoriously low/lower.)
  11. Your interests seem very broad, and "half-baked"--which is not an issue, since we were all in that stage once upon a time. Based on your post, however, I think an MDiv would be a good option for you. An MDiv would keep all your doors open, and even be a good stand-alone terminal degree if needed. Also, keep in mind that being a professor at a university is not the easiest thing to do, and you will require some maturing of interests before considering that as a viable option. Maybe after the first year of MDiv you can be in a better place to decide if academia is where you want to go. I myself did not decide until after my first year of MTS to go the academic route, and it took me several years to get myself ready for this endeavor and to mature as a student and applicant. Additionally, you should know that languages are very important and often a limiting factor for many people.
  12. Yeah, I'm only looking for an extra year. However, I might not need this extra year... just thinking this out.
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